Last week was a boring week in professional wrestling. The most interesting thing that transpired was a wrestling promotion I don’t care about may not be here next year because they’re bleeding money and losing their television deal. Honestly, I feel the problem is too much emphasis on entertainment and not enough on the sport of professional wrestling.
I often go to sleep and wake up thinking about wrasslin. Last night I went to sleep thinking about how the belts aren’t as important as the graphics they use before title matches. Fuck your “the belts are just props” logic. In any sport, we remember the champions the most. I think it will help when they unify the IC and US titles. Because ever since they unified the WWE and WHC belts, now you see two former world champions holding the midcard belts. Last year, and for years before that, the WHC was more often than not, jerking the curtain, and while officially a world championship, it was as important as the midcard belts used to be. Which rendered the midcard belts irrelevant. WWE would debut a guy and in a month or so, slap the belt on him. Then he’d do jobs, and not get over, and they’d repeat this cycle with another midcard guy.
I hate wrasslin fans who complain about the predictability of the sport. It IS a pre-arranged thing. More often than not, the good guy is supposed to beat the bad guy. The reason I’m complaining that I’m bored is because the pay per views really do feel like Raw. Raw is three hours long but they still do a bunch of three minute matches I’m apparently not supposed to remember or care about. I’m PAST sick and tired of almost every Raw starting off with The Authority or someone coming out and having a talking segment for 20 minutes. SmackDown is a better deal for me, but they often sprinkle the show with B-listers and rarely continue stories from Raw, and Raw is recapped for about 20 minutes out of that two hours. It really is time for WWE to do things different.
Fast forward to the future. None of us are looking forward to the Hell in a Cell pay per view. Because we know the cell itself will have like NO bearing on the match. We aren’t expecting guys to climb on top and fall through to the ring, or jump off the top and throw people through the announce tables and all that… but any kind of cage match USED to mean you would use the cage as a weapon. So it’s a logic black hole for two guys to get locked inside a steel structure and not use it as a weapon. They just have a no dq match with a cage around ringside. Don’t get me started on ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ matches almost always ending in or around the ring.
THAT’S what was dope about the Attitude Era and even what some call the Ruthless Aggression Era… they were having violent bloody creative finishes like when Bob Holly fought Al Snow by that water. Yes, it was influenced by ECW. That was when “anything can happen in WWE” MEANT something. And now you rarely hear it. Because Vince knows damn well he’s shoveling the same old shit down our throats. I’m not saying they need to bleed every week in every match… but there needs to be blood in Extreme Rules matches and cage matches and such. It just doesn’t make sense to lock six men in the Elimination Chamber and they all come out looking photo shoot ready. Orton got busted open the hard way in MITB and honestly it helped suspend my disbelief that eight men had a fake fight for belts hanging over the ring.
Many people are writing things about how WWE shafted Zack Ryder and their officials are honestly happy Daniel Bryan got hurt the moment they gave him the big moment. And my response is, this is why WWE is losing money. You do not have enough money to try to pay me to try to write all those hours of live and taped wrasslin. So I can’t say it’s easy. I CAN say it’s simple. I’ve been saying for a while that the people they creatively invest the least amount of time and effort in have the best programs… BECAUSE THEY’RE SIMPLE. WWE is shitting the bed with this Fandango thing unless their intent is to give up on him and bury him. There were two choices. One, let him have both of those women and push him by having them interfere in his matches. Two. Have them both leave him alone and push them in the Divas division, interfering in each other’s matches. And WWE chose C: have them slut themselves out to whoever his opponent is, help them win with no real story and not wrestle at all. There is no money in that. They are just whores kissing random superstars every week. They don’t wrestle. This time last year Fandango was the future of the business. This year he’s losing every match because some bitches start dancing during his matches. And it’s DUMB to invest money in a guy then give up on him in a few months.
Zack Ryder got himself over and so much has been written about him. I personally don’t like him but over is over, and handled right, he could have eventually become a serious world title contender. But WWE buried him. They don’t even sell his merch anymore. A couple of years ago there was such a big deal about them trademarking his catchphrases, likeness and name. And now he’s just the guy who it’s a big deal that he won for the first time in two years. (because of them sluts helping him) Fans want to see Dolph Ziggler be the man or at least closer to it than he is. Again… I don’t see it, but I DO know underutilization when I see it. He is barely there. WWE misuses so much talent, to try to entertain us with midgets and song and dance. BITCH WE TUNE IN FOR WRASSLIN!
You can make an argument that my generation grew up spoiled by seeing The Rock, Stone Cold, HHH, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho etc every week. And before that, Hulkamania ran wild. I assert: John Cena don’t write or book these shows. It’s not HIS fault we’re not really supposed to care about anyone else. Proof: people don’t chant his opponent’s name, just anti and pro Cena chants more often than not.
A few months ago, every single episode or Raw and SmackDown furthered the storyline that The Shield was gonna break up. Now, they appear stronger than ever. They’re even being booked like babyfaces while being aligned with the heel Authority. While fighting ‘the director of operations’ and HHH’s old DX buddies. This… is retarded. Yes, I WILL find something to complain about if this is fixed, but… WWE has to stop pushing and depushing, turning guys face and heel every other week, and teasing breakups and groups forming, then doing nothing with it.
Recently I was thinking back to 2011, when R-Truth was the best heel in WWE. Not Miz and certainly not CM Punk, who had yet to cut his ‘pipebomb’ promo. I never thought I’d be here for R-Truth in a main event capacity, but he did it. I honestly wanted to see him win the belt, not even for ‘Cena-nough’ reasons. He main evented ‘Capitol Punishment’ for the belt and at Survivor Series against Cena and Rock, with Miz as his partner. WWE established he and Miz as a dangerous tag team, and I’ve written here before… the seeds were planted for a faction led by John Laryngitis, starring Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Nash, The Miz and R-Truth.
Go back to SummerSlam 2011. Kevin Nash jackknifed Punk half to death, allowing Alberto Del Rio to cash in MITB. At HIAC, ‘Awesome Truth’ helped Del Rio beat Cena and Punk to win the belt back. At Vengeance, ‘Awesome Truth’ hit Cena with the ‘Lil Jimmy Finale’ or whatever they called their tag team finisher to help Del Rio retain. And they dropped that shit simply because R-Truth failed a drug test for weed. It would have been WAY more interesting than everything that has happened since then.
I look at Ryback and remember just a year and a half ago he was unbeaten and looked unstoppable. Then they had him lose every PPV match for a good year, changed his gimmick like 36635324 times, made him a Paul Heyman guy for like two months and now he’s in a wack tag team with the other failed ‘Paul Heyman guy’, Curtis Axel. Who they gave up on after never making him legit by having him win like 10 matches by screwy finish. No one has ever been legitimized by winning by countout or DQ repeatedly. Then they threw him into a tv feud with CM Punk where he never won once and it was pretty much over from there.
WWE likes taking guys they’re ruining with lame gimmicks that don’t get over and slapping them together with other rejects to form jobber tag teams. Jack Swagger was with Ziggler last year, Cesaro this year. Now Cesaro is getting over inexplicably (fake smarks cheering heels whose ‘work’ they appreciate) and I have no faith that when they break up ‘The Real Americans’ he’ll be in a good way. The Usos were jobbers last year who started to get hot, but lost like 35232252 tag title matches before winning on Raw. Now they’re going to defend on the Mania pre-show. Yay.
Everything that’s happening to Daniel Bryan is REALLY a ‘fuck you’ to CM Punk, who walked out on a TV feud with Kane and a Mania match with HHH. Daniel Bryan was reportedly in line to face Sheamus. Again. And this is after he joined the Wyatt Family for two weeks. I’m still pissed about that and how much potential THAT had.
HHH came out with his golden shovel and buried Fandango. (Hi, Quinn!) There was no good reason to point out that this time last year, Fandango was in line to become IC champ after debuting at Mania with a win over Chris Jericho… but he got injured and they’ve jobbed him out since… and now ‘Fandangoing’ isn’t as popular. NIGGA THAT’S YOUR FAULT! Truth be told, the Yes Movement would die if Daniel Bryan got jobbed out every week and at every PPV. But, he is trolling. Quite successfully, I might add. People think Bryan is being buried in high profile matches and segments all designed to get you to feel sympathy for the underdog who has only lost clean once that I can remember, since SummerSlam.
Anyway… my point has been made. You can look at Randy Orton since SummerSlam and see how shitty the booking is. From week to week, IS Orton face of the company? IS The Authority behind him? ARE they unified? WILL Orton win a match on TV as champion? I have no clue but odds are… no. Batista has been booked weak as fuck too, which is how I KNOW he’s getting the belt. They gotta cut this bullshit out and come up with a plan to build stars and then stick to it, or they’ll keep having to pay old men to come back.
So, about that hijacking……… I was of the opinion that the first hour of Raw was excellent. And I can give less than a damn about anything that happened after Bray Wyatt pinned Dean Ambrose. So much to talk about anyway. Like: How stupid do you need to be to buy tickets to an event to protest booking decisions?
Since they wisely had Batista ride the wave of negative emotion, it has become increasingly obvious that A) Batista WILL win the WWE WHC and B) “Our Hero” Daniel Bryan will be the one to divest him of all of that gold. I’m looking up and noticing Y2J and RVD haven’t come back yet. Fans are crying and complaining that WWE craps on its regulars by bringing back old hands… and you look up and realize Rock put Cena over for the strap, Jericho put Punk and Fandango over in consecutive years, and RVD got title shots against Ambrose and Del Rio… that he lost. And now Batista will essentially transition the title to the People’s Choice, and niggas STILL fucking complaining.
I want to take this time to complain that Randy Orton has been done no favors in this title reign in which he only unified the titles cleanly… and noooooooo one caaaaaaares. I’m not a fan of the predictable “make the champion appear vulnerable by having him lose regularly on TV and retain by hook AND crook at every PPV” booking, because it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t. It, in my opinion devalues the title and the titlist. The last quality title reign was that of one CM Punk (where I’ll never get tired of pointing out he never main evented as champion unless Cena was injured, or Cena was the opponent… and then The Rock) and in case you have forgotten, once he turned heel, he was a heel of the chickenshit variety. The last quality heel title reign was “Hall of Pain” Mark Henry… who turned chickenshit right before dropping the belt. It is not too much to ask that your fucking world champion be made to look dominant and top shelf. What that does, is in turn, it makes whoever takes the title look even better. NOTHING is gained when your champion is a pussy. Not. A. Damn. Thing.
I’ve been reading lots of sentiment saying WWE’s booking is terrible. Honestly, I feel it has gotten MUCH better. The booking between SummerSlam and say… Survivor Series was WTF. SINCE… my only complaint has been “Why can’t you make your champion look… like a champion?”
I meant to lead off with this, but that failed hijacking was too good to ignore: I REALLY love The Steve Austin Show. He almost has me convinced giving Daniel Bryan the ball and letting him run with it is a good idea. What all you people who overrate the Attitude Era have forgotten is… WWE only trusts Cena as a draw who will do what’s best for their bottom line. Guys like SCSA and CM Punk didn’t like creative and left them with their pants down. The Rock left to become the highest grossing movie star. Which leaves an interesting question to be answered: Why SHOULD they put the machine behind guys not necessarily making them money and popping ratings and buyrates… only to see those guys leave them assed out… AND the current system is working SO well people hate every decision they make and still watch and buy shit?
I DO think it would be a mistake to not build the company around The Shield, The Wyatt Family, Big E and Cesaro. And there is still talent on NXT and in that Performance Center that I know nothing about. It would be dumb IMO to, say… put the belt on Roman Reigns only to have him drop it a month later and lose to HHH before giving him back the belt and let him hold it for over a year before dropping it to a part timer meant to transition it BACK to Cena like they did some guy.
But not as dumb as not liking those decisions but watching every TV show, PPV and buying the Network.
Just Listen and Learn.
On Twitter a few weeks back, someone asked the question: “If WWE puts the belt on Daniel Bryan… then what?”
I answered thusly: “They’ll say every Raw, SmackDown and PPV is trash.”
Real talk: You Daniel Bryan marks are really pissing me the fuck off. I saw a tweet last night that cursed CM Punk for Daniel Bryan getting booked into his match with HHH. Really?
We are witnessing the rise of Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Big E and Cesaro. Unless something drastic happens all four will win pretty much every championship WWE has. There is a buttload of talent in WWE right now. People complain that there isn’t enough star power in WWE, AND complain Batista walked right into the main event by virtue of his relationship with the on screen COO and the champion. And these are the people who will find other things to complain about when Daniel Bryan is champion again, which will be soon.
As a side note: You people didn’t follow the career of The Rock very closely, did you? I remember when he was a People’s Elbow away from beating HHH for the title on the first SmackDown… and one Sweet Chin Music later, HHH retained. I remember Rock had Undertaker pinned multiple times for the title and HHH pedigreed him, Undertaker retained. I remember at WM 2000 Rock looked to be about to beat HHH… Vince screwed Rock… HHH retained. At WM X7… Rock had SCSA beat… Vince interfered… SCSA walked out champion. Burial, right? (Hi, Quinn!) I was more of a Rock fan than Stone Cold or anyone else. It pissed me off allllllllllllll those times I thought my guy was going to win… and didn’t. THIS IS CLASSIC BABYFACE BOOKING. MAKE THE FACE CHASE THE HEEL AND GET ROBBED UNTIL IT FEELS LIKE SWEET JUSTICE IS DONE WHEN THE FACE FINALLY OVERCOMES.
You people think Daniel Bryan’s munchkin ass was posed to beat up the entire Shield and Orton last summer, and cry everytime he gets screwed like that overrated Attitude Era you glorify in sepia tones wasn’t FILLED with the faces like Rock and Stone Cold getting screwed time and time again!
Enough on that.
I have yet to tangentialize upon how WWE audiences are overrated. If we at home hear lots of cheering and booing and see people standing up and doing “the yes movement” then we call that a good, hot crowd. And… that’s not accurate. A good crowd does not make itself the show like the crowd in Jersey did the night after Mania 29 or when the Miami Mania 28 crowd chanted “We Want Lesnar” before Cena got half his life F5ed away. An audience recently chanted “CM Punk” during a Daniel Bryan match and I laughed most megalomaniacally. A good crowd has no self serving agenda… it simply reacts to the show. If I remember correctly, during a couple of good matches the crowd started doing random chants.
Here’s what’s wrong with this: We smarks call chanting things having nothing to do with the match “shitting on the match” ie what we fully expect New Orleans to do when Orton and Bootista lock horns. I get it in that instance… Orton has been stale and his title reign has been trash. Batista… is not Daniel Bryan. However… when guys like Roman Reigns and Cesaro are performing to chants having nothing to do with them… we’re telling WWE “fuck those guys” and then months later when they’re jobbing… we cry “Why is so and so getting buried? He should at least be upper midcard” IT’S BECAUSE YOU CHANTED FOR OTHER MEN WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO ENTERTAIN YOU, YOU JACKASSES!
Last item before I get outta here: Why do fans read spoilers on the internet, watch the show… then get angry that nothing surprised them?
Listen. I understand that John Cena is the face of WWE and why. Real classy dude. Make a Wish, Tribute to the Troops, blah blah blah. He still shits on Randy Orton in a way I don’t remember Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan doing when they were the top guy. This nigga cut a promo where he proclaimed the entire rivalry between he and Orton would end with him winning… and then he won in what was a good back and forth match. So they should shut the fuck up with the “Face of the WWE” up for grabs talk.
WWE is putting their own neck under the sword of Damocles with their talk that whoever wins the WWE title or whoever wins a singles match including the WWE titlist is the “Face of the WWE”. Real fans call bullshit because we’ve long known that the best affletes and wrasslers often retire without ever holding a world championship. We know that a lot of things go into being truly at that level where you can be a top face or heel. You have to look the part, be willing and able to deal with the media and fans, be passable on the mic and in the ring, sell merch and PPVs, and make the fans react to whatever you do.
Cuz I can’t write a wrasslin post without shooting shots at Daniel Bryan: yeah fans cheer for him and his ring work is good… but dassit. Moving on.
I know why Randy Orton isn’t where Cena is right now: because he’s a douche. I still laugh when I think about how an interviewer said he was fragile and he told him to say it again so he could beat his ass cuz he didn’t care about nothin. The difference between guys like Orton and Batista and the likes of Cena is that Cena in real life never gets upset over the fans reactions to his matches. At the Rumble all the dirt sheets had articles about how Orton and Batista were pissed that the crowd crapped on their matches. I believe Orton is better in every way except Cena is a better talker and more marketable. Dah well.
I didn’t appreciate it when the build to the Rumble title match included the usual trash about Orton needing to beat Cena AGAIN to be the man, like he didn’t beat him clean at TLC. I appreciate it less that Cena can come out after losing at the Rumble and declare his rivalry with Orton over once he beats him once and for all on an odd Raw two weeks out from not winning ANOTHER championship match against Orton. According to some websites Orton is actually 8-8 against Cena in PPV title matches where one of them was the winner (including matches with multiple participants). I don’t feel like doing the numbers but I’d imagine Cena wins disproportionately on TV. Top guy blah blah blah whatever.
I really wrote this to bitch about how Orton’s time as champion since SummerSlam has been trash. Don’t hide behind the ‘oh he’s a heel and heels put over the faces’ logic. Randall Keith Orton is one of the best professional wrasslers in the world. One of the most decorated champions ever. With every accolade in the ring Cena has, Orton is right there. So why does WWE book him as a pussy? Why is he coming out week after week crying that he needs The Authority to protect him and not make him fight the top contenders? A MAN WHO HAS WON ALMOST EVERY TITLE THERE IS AND EVERY MATCH THERE IS SHOULD NOT BE SCARED OF ANYFUCKING BODY AAAAAAAAAAND HAVE “APEX PREDATOR” IN HIS GIMMICK. ARE FUCKING LIONS RUNNING FROM TIGERS IN THE JUNGLE, NIGGA!?!
From a logic standpoint, all the main event booking and build has been ass since SummerFest… I mean SummerSlam. All because they refuse to book Orton like he’s a goddamned man, like he’s credible. The commentators talk about him like he’s this punk that lucked into everything. Cena buried him before TLC by saying he’s lazy and only living off his last name. So the “I need to be protected” thing is as surreal as “Daniel Bryan will never be the Face of WWE”.
While I’m back on that… they shoulda never brought that up when no one smart watching thinks Orton or anyone else is wresting that title from Super Cena. Ever since SummerSlam, Orton has never been securely entrenched in his role as ‘face of the company’. If whoever holds the belt is the face of the company, how come John Cena was main eventing every fucking pay per view while *redacted* was the champion? Lemme tell you something else… *gets carried off by HHH’s 40 year old friends running wrasslin*
There are two places I go when I need a belly laugh: the threads on Wrestlezone, and the comments on IGN. There you will find all the trolling and the most hairbrained logic ever known to man. Today I saw a thread about how Randy Orton needs to be reduced from main eventer to lower midcarder and thought: THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WWE HAS TO CHANGE ITS PLANS TO CONSIDER!?!
I watched Triple H: Thy Kingdom Cometh on Netflix the other night and thought to myself… HHH was great and I don’t think nepotism had anything to do with it. If anything he had to be that much better, so that he wouldn’t feel in his own heart that he got where he did from banging the boss’ daughter. Plus, this is the guy who gave us multiple iterations of DX. He does know what is best for business, and if WWE listened to the IWC (if it was like it is now) those eras would have completely sucked.
That said… I watch SmackDown every week and usually come away thinking SmackDown is better than Raw. Because SmackDown tends not to focus on these convoluted storylines, and focus on straight WRASSLIN. There is also less of a focus on the bigger stars. What many people forget is Raw gets better ratings not because of what day it comes on, not because of the storylines, but BECAUSE people want to see the stars. Batista’s return allegedly popped 700,000 more viewers. People watched the Rumble to see him return to in ring action and KNEW they didn’t bring him back to not have him in the main event of Mania.
In previous eras… let me exemplify: WrassleMania X7… the main event was future movie stars Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. On the undercard there was a 2 fall match where Chris Jericho and Chris “He Never HAPPENED” Benoit took the European and IC titles off Kurt Angle. NO ONE can tell me Rock and Austin are better wrasslers than those three. And I will bitch slap you if you try to tell me those three would have sold WrassleMania. At WrassleMania 3 Hogan and Andre were the big draw but Macho Man and The Dragon had what is considered one of, if not the GREATEST matches in Mania history for the IC title. I don’t think Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat sell PPVs as the main event.
WWE’s booking mirrors the economy: The upper and lower classes are squeezing the middle. Everyone is a jobber now. Only a few rise from jobber to main eventer. There IS no middle. Only jobbers fight for midcard belts, for the most part. The midcard does nothing to elevate guys like The Shield, because once they held the tag and US titles, they were feuding with jobbers WWE tried to sell as credible threats to guys that demolished the main eventers. Back in the day, the technicians in the ring WERE the midcard. The Hart Foundation. Mr. Perfect. Chris Jericho, Benoit, etc.
Now that there is only one world title, it would be best for business if Daniel Bryan went for the IC title when not in the main event picture. The belts are props that are used to make matches and feuds seem more important. Now, dumbass wrestling fans think the title elevates a wrestler. WELL I’VE GOT BAD NEWS: The wrassler elevates the title. I remember people were complaining that Orton and Cena were in the unification match… dog, they were PERFECT for that match, because you had two guys who were in developmental at the same time, debuted around the same time, that had accrued 25 world championships at the time of the match. These two have defined WWE for the last decade.
Let me remind you of something that you may have forgotten: The SAME IWC crying that WWE doesn’t listen to its fans… remarked that Santino Marella was more over than the World Heavyweight Champion… Daniel Bryan. THIS is why who you cheer and chant for doesn’t matter. Just two years ago Santino. Motherfucking. Marella. was more over than Daniel Bryan. Nearly three years ago everyone loved some guy named CM Punk. Now that he’s gone people who were saying he was stale are chanting his name at house shows and blowing up the WWE facebook page with #WeWantPunk. You motherfuckers don’t know WHAT you want.
Lemme tell you what EYE want. Orton versus Batista does not have a compelling story behind it. I don’t want to see Cena versus Batista again in the Mania main event. Christian and Cesaro ain’t happening. That’s right. It would be best for business if Daniel Bryan leaves Elimination Chamber as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Then in about 20 minutes have The Authority screw him out the belt at Mania. Dummies will cry burial (Hi, Quinn) and moan and bitch and not see the bigger picture that Extreme Rules will be in Seattle, where Daniel will win again. Yep. Batista will be better as a heel. Part of me hopes for a new Evolution, starring HHH, Batista and Roman Reigns. That would be dope. Plus Orton could turn face/tweener and try to bring down The Authority, maybe even ironically help Bryan win the title back.
Yeah. The same people crying how much WWE sucks watch every tv show and PPV. Say Cena and Orton and Batista suck and buy their merch. Then when WWE gives CM Punk or Daniel Bryan the belt the ratings fall off the face of the earth then you make excuses about how they’re booked.
Let me ask you a question. When Daniel Bryan was a heel champion, would you have had him beating up The Big Show and Mark Henry? Yes? You’re a moron. No? You realize that’s why he’s not a credible TOP guy right? Credible main eventer? Yes. Top guy when men built like real men exist? No.
When Hulk Hogan roamed the earth, a lot of you smarks would have rather pushed HBK and Bret Hart because they’re better wrestlers, right? WELP… there was this little thing called the Monday Night War, where it WAS HBK and Bret Hart up against Hulk Hogan’s nWo vs Sting and Goldberg’s WCW… AND WWE WAS GETTING OBLITERATED. But, keep on believing you know what’s best for business, mates.
I hope HHH has the cojones to ignore the IWC but the brains to throw them enough bones.
I was out on a morning troll when I came across some fantasy booking on a pro wrestling fan site. A commenter creates a unique storyline for a real-life development occurring in a promotion, and before completing his/her opening statement drops the following jewel in the middle of it all:
… push the guys the fans want to see …
Needless to say this comment and the thought process intrigued me enough to bring it to our lovely L.E.W.D. shores for an insightful and invigorating conversation.
With no offense or ill will intended for the commenter or the site they drafted their opinion on, it’s quite fascinating how people tend to operate more often than not off of their feelings without giving consideration to the context of their feelings or the experiences of those around them. All that is to say that this notion of “pushing the guys the fans want to see” tends to come off extremely shortsighted because there several underlying assumptions that are never addressed or considered when speaking about pushing the guys the “fans want” to see.
And there it is; the two most important words in that statement are “fans want.” Whether one stands to admit it or not, our hopes and expectations about a given pro wrestling product are intricately bound by the idea that corporations give consumers what consumers want. To an extent that is true, but it can be quite misleading for the fan that has quietly assimilated into the Generation ME lifestyle.
Corporations don’t give consumers what consumers want; corporations sell consumers what consumers are willing to pay for. When this process happens long enough, we become “convinced” that the corporation is “giving” us what we “want.” No matter how many miles one walks and how many pounds one wants to shed, McDonald’s will still continue to sell Big Macs because people are still willing to buy Big Macs.
As we’ve said many times on this site before, it’s all about money. These United States of America are ruled by the color green; we are all capitalists and there are more companies (and individuals) than not who give more of a damn about profit margins than they do about what you and I want. Companies provide a particular product or service for a price, and the ebb and flow of their business models shift and surge depending solely on what they can get consumers to buy. The more money a product or service can bring in, the more it’ll be shoved into our faces accompanied with advertising and marketing intentionally designed to convince us “this is what we want, this is what we need” in order to do x-y-z in life.
The same rule of thumb applies to a given wrestling promotion; a promotion will offer fans someone they’ll pay to see, which sometimes can be the person that fans “want” to see. When that doesn’t happen, however, a lot of hurt feelings and raw emotions are expressed via the interweb. The reality of it all is that just because fans want to see a particular star doesn’t necessarily mean those same fans (or other fans) are willing to pay to see that star in a prominent position.
The tragic part of it all is that consumers often “want” something more deeper and intricate than what they’re given or what they’re told they want.
Let’s take everyone’s favorite broski Zack Ryder as an example. Three years ago Ryder successfully utilized social media to gain a very vocal cult following. Fans rallied behind Ryder enough to the point where he was given a safe and solid push from the powers that be. At the time there was no doubt that Zack Ryder was someone that a lot of fans “wanted to see,” and that was never really in question.
The question was whether or not we would pay to see Zack Ryder in a more prominent role higher than the mid-card. As exceptional a talent as Zack Ryder is, it became obvious that the same legion of fans who rallied for his push were also the same ones who wouldn’t put enough green down for him to have more than a cup of coffee in the upper mid-card. Our response to such instances is to blame the promotion, but a promotion can’t financially survive off of feeding into the fans’ fleeting emotions.
The other perspective to consider as fans is whether or not we understand completely the vast spectrum of fandom that exists inside of pro wrestling. Not all fans are alike and not all fans “like” or “want” the same thing. We often speak of ourselves in blanket terms without even thinking of the differences of opinion that are present among us. Every time a fan chants “Let’s go Cena,” they’re greeted by a resounding chorus of “Cena Sucks!” responses. As cute and enchanting as the dueling chants can be, it also shows us in very simple terms that wrestling fans don’t always think alike. We’re a dynamic group of individuals who can collectively enjoy and critique the product while also having uniquely different ideas that explain why we like or dislike the product.
To blithely say or assume that a promotion should push guys “fans want to see” is to also assume, without saying, that all fans want to see one particular wrestler and that all fans will pay to see that same wrestler. No matter how we look at “the business,” it’s a form of entertainment that moves along with what consumers are willing to pay to see. With fans having varying tastes that can literally change overnight without notice, the guys fans want to “see” could switch at any given time plus the fact that there may be six to seven different guys that different fans want to “see” pushed.
On July 12, 2012, Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion at the Destination X pay per view. Aries’ reign came after he received a strong push upon his return to TNA which also led to a reinvigorated X-Division. Aries’ reign, however, lasted all of three months by the time he was defeated by Jeff Hardy at Bound for Glory that same year.
Over one year later in July 2013, well-known X-Division star Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to win his very first TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Sabin’s reign came after his return to TNA in May 2014 after recuperating from his second ACL injury. Sabin’s reign lasted less than a month as he lost the title to the former champion.
Both Aries and Sabin were fan favorites that fans wanted to “see” receive a push. With so much fervor behind them, why is it that their combined reigns lasted less than half a year? Even more sobering is the fact that the combined five reigns of Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray lasted for over a year and two months.
We can assume that Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray had more drawing power as champs, or we could blame the powers that be for not putting their all behind pushing the guys “fans wanted to see.” Whichever direction we decide to drift towards we cannot deny or ignore that the preeminent names in TNA between 2011 and 2012 were Hardy and Bully Ray; it wasn’t so much that the machine invested in them heavily (which is a part of the situation), but it also had to do with the fact that both men were individuals people paid good money to see and less to do with whether fans by and large “wanted” to see them per se.
To wrap things up, we cannot forget that “the business” is out to make money and cannot realistically operate by floating precariously on the whims of a fickle fan base. At the end of the day, we are paying (in most cases) these promotions to entertain us, and as a large and varied group of consumers these promotions must put players in place that will generate revenue to keep their businesses barreling towards the black and not moon walking towards the red. Because our likes are varied and because our likes change as often as folks change their drawes [sic], it’d be completely asinine for any promotion with the good sense given to them at birth to operate solely and completely off of what fans “say” they want at a given minute, especially if that particular fan base is miniscule and fair weather in nature … case in point …
We fans have a right to like what we like; we fans also have a right to expect a promotion to entertain us when we’re paying them to do so. But we must be realistic when viewing the product, understanding that guys the fans want to see pushed also have to be the guys fans will pay to see pushed. All the chants and petitions and crowd signs in the world won’t move a promotion’s top brass as much as revenue will. Period.
Before I fill this post with reasons and excuses, I invite you to listen to my thoughts on the 2014 edition of the Royal Rumble as well as the prospect of the upcoming WrestleMania XXX.
Feel free to post your thoughts and reactions in the comment section below.
When was the last time The Authority appeared unified on TV? I think the main event picture has sucked ever since the fall because Randy Orton is being booked as a crybaby and a coward. When The Authority storyline ends it will just go out with a whimper simply because it’s been so all over the place. One second Orton is face of the WWE, the next he is on his own and has to prove himself, the next they believe in him again.
Why is The Shield still affiliated with The Authority but they allowed ‘The Brotherhood’ to not only get their jobs back, but hold the tag titles for months? THIS is a half complaint, because it doesn’t make sense to me, storyline wise, but in terms of how Cody and Dustin have looked, it’s been cool. Now the Old Age Outlaws are poised to get one last run with the belts. Blah.
CM Punk should win the Rumble from the number one spot, but he won’t. He’ll probably be in the last five or so to be eliminated through some screwy circumstances, because based on all rumors, he has beef with HHH and they’ll meet at Mania. Unlike Big Show, who had beef with him and no match to speak of. Another aspect of this story they’re doing wrong.
Batista is considered the favorite to win the Rumble and many assume he’ll meet Brock Lesnar at Mania. I guess.
I’m still pissed they’re blowing off the Daniel Wyatt thing.
So. The Authority thing… who will kill it? Not Cena, not Bryan, not Punk… then who? I… have no idea. I guess that lack of predictability is good… but without any logic or reason, the storylines kinda fall flat.
And I feel so ‘meh’ about all of this I’ll be even shorter than usual with nary a profanity or racial slur to be found.
I was over my best friend’s house a while back, watching the WWE 50 or whatever it’s called documentary. One thing struck me. It started out as a historical retelling of how Vince’s father started the company and how Vince made it international. It told everything from the first champion to like the Attitude Era… then it became this touting of achievements like the company going public and having so many tentacles in so many different things. The reality in wrasslin, like everything is: You can be jack of all trades… but you’ll also be master of none.
WWE wants everyone’s money. They’re a business, I’m not mad at that ambition. However, for a worldwide entity? WWE’s peak was 12 million viewers for Raw. Out of a world of seven billion people. I believe there is a correlation between losing two thirds of your audience and trying to take over the world of entertainment. For wrestling fans, we cringe at being told what we’re watching isn’t wrestling, it’s entertainment. These thoughts all came to me as I thought about how many of WWE’s talents shouldn’t be taken seriously. So many dancing gimmicks and The Great Khali and Hornswoggle and Santino. It’s always been this way, but it’s different now.
I remember in the overrated Attitude Era, Mark Henry fathered a hand. An Asian man wanted to ‘choppy choppy’ Val Venis’ ‘pee pee’. (Which is SOOOOOOOOOOO racist. OMG) You had Too Cool and Rikishi dancing around and stuff. See? It was insanity. But… where it was different, is that the FOCUS was on the wrestling! Pro wrestling in America IS WWE. You can be a better wrestling fan than me and force yourself to watch TNA, ROH and indy/overseas promotions… for me wrestling = WWE. I think for a LOT of people it’s the same thing. This means: WWE’s job is to be everything to everyone. And I think they’re doing an ok job at that. But it would be better for all involved if they focused on the wrestling.
There was a marketing push that someone came up with somewhere that was like “Wrestling Matters”. It was a blatant knock on WWE that the wrestling was no longer what was important or what they wanted you to remember. Flash back to the first paragraph. From the sixties into early 2000s the most important thing in WWE was the moments inside the squared circle. Then it became important to expand the programming and the media. Make movies. Have guys all over tv and radio promoting the product. Sell merch and create apps and all these other things that don’t bother me until I’m fucking watching two people I have no fucking reason to give a fuck about fucking wrestle and the whole fucking time Michael Cole is talking about other sports and making ‘pop culture references’ arguing with JBL and plugging appearances and the fucking WWE App. OH AND WHAT A MATCH WHEN THE PACE PICKS UP AND THERE ARE A FEW CONSECUTIVE NEAR FALLS INDICATING NOW IT’S TIME FOR THE WRESTLING TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON OUR MINDS!!!
The WWE’s imperialist ambitions bleed through its DVDs and Blurays, its commentary, everything they’re doing. Again… I’m not mad, except that I think they never kill the Daniel Wyatt angle because Michigan State decided to have a stadium wide YES chant if they don’t care too much about their cross-cultural reach. I know many of you have forgotten that the best thing about the Nexus demolition of John Cena and CM Punk and the ring etc… was Daniel Bryan strangling Justin Roberts with his tie, then getting fired for being “too violent” This doesn’t happen if WWE isn’t worried about losing its PG rating and losing sponsors. Which again, I’m not mad at.
What pisses me the fuck off is that WWE doesn’t care about its fans as much as how much money they can make… which is none if it has no fans. Daniel Bryan is not going to be world champion anytime soon, which is what the fans want. If not him, then CM Punk. Rumors persist that at Mania, neither one of them will be in the main event. We’re going to get something involving the likes of Batista or Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. I like all of those guys. But EYE want CM Punk. Chances are, you reading this want Daniel Bryan… and none of that matters. And we’re still going to go out and buy the WWE Network so we can load up on old content from when wrestling mattered and watch every Raw and SmackDown and bitch about how much it has changed and stayed the same.
Hulk Hogan is my favorite superstar of all time. He sucks. There were so many better WRESTLERS in the company in his day. Sound familiar? I still make the argument that if he never went to WCW, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have less world titles on their resume. Just like the Cenas, Ortons, Lesnars, Batistas etc are blocking Bryan and Punk. Have you ever thought about all the guys from that era that never rose above the midcard level, like a British Bulldog, Owen Hart, Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude etc? In THIS era they’d all have gotten a few world titles. So in THAT sense, things are better. Where it’s worse is how worthless being in the midcard is.
Earlier, I alluded to how many comedy acts there are in WWE. Santino Marella has been an Intercontinental Champion on multiple occasions. In case you don’t remember, the longest reigning IC champ is some Elvis impersonator called “The Honky Tonk Man”. Anyway… nowadays it isn’t very common to see a guy rise to main event status and go after a midcard singles title. Dean Ambrose hasn’t defended the US title in forever. Big E Langston took the IC title off some jabroni named Curtis Axel and has been defending it against jabronis. They’re talking of unifying the belts by Elimination Chamber. It elevates the title and the titlist if they start defending it against main event level stars who aren’t in the main event at the moment. ie: Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.
Also… I’ve been clamoring for some time now for WWE to create a midcard belt for its smaller competitors… Bryan can win that too. Back in the day, WCW’s best matches featured future world champions like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio wrestling as cruiserweights. I think this would be a good way to make wrestling more important. An argument can be made that having a little person belt makes more of a delineation between who can and can’t main event… and I call bullshit. Daniel Bryan is short and is a three time world champion.
Overall: When I turn on wrestling, I want to see wrestling. I want the commentators to talk wrestling while the wrestlers wrestle. I think that it would be best for business if WWE stops trying to distance itself from the fact that its chief business is wrestling. Then, I believe business would pick up.
Let me get this out of the way first: At first glance, it seemed like WWE was trying to kill Bryan’s crowd heat by having him join the Wyatts. Then, I realized we were all being bitches for thinking that, because Bryan’s popularity BEGAN when he was a heel. The so-called WWE Universe is FIRMLY behind this dude. All of us in the so-called IWC love to show our smarkiness by shitting all over things that can potentially be great. I dare ONE of you motherfuckers to explain to me what we gained from Daniel Bryan being in the Wyatt Family FOR TWO WEEKS.
I had it all mapped out in my head when I thought about it. Bryan wouldn’t do jobs. The entire Wyatt Family would dominate the WWE for months. They’d fail to win the Rumble because they aren’t strong enough to beat the machine… yet. But by SummerSlam, Bryan would win the world title again. And then Bray Wyatt would want it for himself. At that point you can go one of three directions. Bryan could give him the belt a la Andre the Giant when he gave the belt to Ted DiBiase. I don’t like this because there’s no REAL payoff there. Bryan could lay down for Wyatt somewhat comically like the time Hogan poked Nash in the chest the night after he ended Goldberg’s streak. In this scenario, I’m not really for it because the story basically ends up being Bryan did all that JUST to lay down? Finally there’s the Orton vs Evolution angle where Bryan has beaten the machine, and now Wyatt wants to beat him, monster versus monster. And Harper and Rowan help screw Bryan out the belt. From here, Bryan can out-creep the creeps. He can hunt them like when Stone Cold hunted DX.
Having Bryan beat up Bray Wyatt and giving up on a potential long term feud that could carry us to next year’s Mania is pointless. In a parallel universe in which WWE follows through on nice things, Bryan, the ultimate underdog could have overcome the machine. Got screwed by the monster that helped him overcome the machine. Became an even bigger monster. Win the Rumble. Beat the monster in the main event of Mania. On its own, Bryan vs Wyatt is NOT a main event type match. But, being set up and built over a year it’d be a hell of a payoff.
You motherfuckers are really happy that Raw went off with the crowd loudly chanting yes? *deep sigh* Imagine the crowd at Mania next year with Bryan in the main event, against the guy who built him up only to try to tear him down. THIS. WAS. TWO. WEEKS. YOU CAN’T EVEN CALL THAT SHIT A BUILD! What are they gonna do now?
Bryan is not winning the Rumble this year. The Wyatts AND the machine will see to that. There is literally no one worth watching Bryan face at Mania at the moment. They’re gonna have him face Bray at Mania in the midcard now. Maybe even as the curtain jerker. What a waste.
These rumors that they’re building towards a CM Punk/HHH match at Mania are ALSO a waste. They built up all that heat between Big Show and HHH to completely blow off that angle without a match. HHH has done much to harm Daniel Bryan where THAT match would be worth caring about. The ONLY angle that makes sense to me is to have CM Punk FINALLY main event a big PPV and defeat The Authority’s champion. But… WWE is proving things that make natural sense don’t matter, so…
The end to the last Raw of 2013 was the worst end to a wrasslin year ever. It was like that Christmas where not only didn’t Santa come, you were told that, he, the Easter bunny and tooth fairy were all lies supposed to help stimulate your imagination. Our hero was TAKEN from us. I TOLD ya’ll HHH and Vince and them never loved us… REMEMBER!?! Why the fuck is Daniel Bryan now part of The Wyatt Family? How is THAT gonna work?
Can you imagine Stone Cold Steve Austin pouring out his beer and saying “Austin 3:16 says I just got my ass whipped”? Hulk Hogan saying it doesn’t matter if you say your prayers or take your vitamins… most prayers go unanswered and it’s not like YOU’LL get pythons, anyway? What if John Cena… gave up? Of ALL the people in the WWE… the most over babyface on the roster SAYS… on a live mic… TWICE: “No matter how much you people cheer for me, I’ll never get past the machine that wants me to fail”. I was in denial that WWE didn’t want him to be over, but this PROVES they want to kill his crowd heat.
I often write about that time John Cena joined the Nexus. Two major differences. One: He was forced to. Two: We were happy that happened because it signified hope existed that John Cena was finally going to do something different. We were wrong. John Cena has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, he stands by his principles. At this point, him turning heel would obliterate his yawn inducing character. And think about THIS: Daniel Bryan has turned like fo-five times in two years!
If tonight is a heel turn, Bryan was a tweener before that, a heel, a babyface. I was recently thinking about how… something that is lost in wrestling today… is the characters don’t seem to have principles. CM Punk… whether he is a face or a heel, wants to be considered the best wrestler. Daniel Bryan… what does he stand for? Yes? No? I don’t know. Maybe? Perhaps. If Daniel Bryan was supposed to be the everyman, forever doubted and forging ahead, bravely… that’s dead now that he has sworn himself to Bray Wyatt. What happens to his crowd heat? Do the fans chant yes still? No? Most likely.
I’m not here for Brock Lesnar, WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I’m just not. If he did fight for the belt, he’d likely win and drop it in a PPV or two. Between he and Batista, there are so many possibilities for Mania. They can fight each other, or Cena, or Undertaker. Sheamus, maybe.
If Orton retains against Cena, it needs to be clean, and Cena needs to actually put over “Hey, I lost, fair and square.” And that’s all. Grr. I still foresee Orton/Punk at Mania.
Back to my rant: Daniel Bryan was supposed to be one of the top faces in the company. This… is not that. This is not a burial either. I feel like Bryan is better as a heel, with a chip on his shoulder. I hope the fans don’t shit on what could potentially end up great by continuing to chant and cheer him.
Yes, this started off as a rant on how this is NOT best for business… but I gotta admit, this has potential. Just like the idea that Cena would help Barrett win his first world title to avoid losing his job. That was a waste of time because Cena didn’t miss one episode of Raw AND Barrett never won. I want Bryan to go on a rampage. Bray Wyatt said he’d make him a monster… only thing that can salvage this situation is if he wasn’t lying.
This past weekend, Vince McMahon was quoted as saying “There are no faces and heels anymore” and that’s the dumbest shit ever. I myself have written about how maybe they should do away with it, since heels tend to lose so much. Then… it occurs to me… they could just… let heels win more! Since this is fake fighting and we’re not privy to knowing their real lives… simple good and evil is the only way for us to know who to root for.
Which brings me back to… why give us a reason NOT to root for the guy we enjoy rooting for? They gotta chill with these ill-timed face and heel turns, man. I been saying for the longest, Daniel Bryan is Mick Foley at best… he didn’t turn heel every few months after catching fire.
The current pro wrestling tension between TNA and WWE fans revolves around an ill-conceived concept of “originality.” For whatever reason it has become very important for fans to claim ownership of a concept, storyline, character or idea on behalf of their favorite company. Fans calculate these “original” ideas, creating a laundry list with hopes of triumphantly stating that one company is more “original” than the other.
The whole process of doing this is cumbersome and overrated. There is very little “originality” coming from the three U.S. promotions that have television deals and to argue about it is to engage in a fool’s errand. Truthfully speaking it’s just like arguing over the pros and cons of hanging toilet paper from the over or under position.
People by and large are resistant to change, and the more time goes on the more people desire for things to stay in one static state of dependability where they can remain comfortable as absurdly possible. Pro wrestling and her fans are not excused from this plight, and in fact may be more susceptible to acquiescing to familiarity more often than not.
But in order for this capitalist consumer based society to continue trudging along the way, we the people have to “believe” that change is happening all around us. We’re fed fairy tales about how things are getting better when, in reality, it’s pretty much the same mess with a fresh coat of paint. The very same is true of pro wrestling; a company appears to be on the verge of making a cutting-edge change, but in reality fans are seeing the product moonwalk itself into stagnancy and mediocrity. Things are only made worse by the fact that we’re all essentially arguing over which promotion is more mediocre than the other.
Real change, serious dynamic moves towards a better and brighter future, is one gigantic pain in the ass. To enact change is to embark upon a journey that speaks against our desire to be comfortable, a long and tedious expedition that requires the discipline and intent to continue along the path until it ends and the desired results are attained. That’s what true success is all about, creating a goal and working to bring that goal to fruition. It the desired results from an intended goal are not realized, then an effort was not successful; end of story.
For any promotion to produce “original” content, their goals from the very beginning must contain an element of change that will not sit well with fans. Change will alienate people; change will make diehard fans question the product or even turn away from it. However, if the desired results are necessary, then—be it subtle or overt—change must happen and fans must be conditioned to accept the journey that comes along with adapting to that change.
Real change, however, decreases revenue and profit in the short term. Real change, however, forces fans to think differently about the way they view the product and choose to support it. Real change effects everyone, from the top down and bottom up. Real change hurts, and with fans being as penny pinching as Ebenezer Scrooge, very few people have the testicular or ovarian fortitude to test the waters for fear of failure and alienating consumers who pad their pockets with cold hard cash.
As fans who invest in the product one way or another, let’s be real with each other and discuss what real change means for our favorite companies and how it affects us. We have to be honest with ourselves: we don’t want real change. If we did, we would’ve given up on both TNA and WWE years ago in favor of much more fulfilling and authentic pro wrestling. But alas, our insatiable hunger for sports entertainment is as vicious as our desire for a fast food; we like crap, and we’re content with having more streamlined crap than anything of substance. And that’s absolutely fine, but we’ve got to admit that’s where we are and that the real debate is on whether we prefer TNA’s crap over WWE’s crap.
To be fair TNA’s crap seems less refined than the mess peddled by WWE only because of the relative infancy in the business. By comparison, TNA appears to produce a more “original” product than WWE because WWE has produced “original” content for fifty plus years. That “original” programming has grown stale and is (truthfully speaking) held to a different standard than TNA because of its seniority. To speak of TNA’s lovable “growing pains” is the nice way of speaking about the WWE’s lackluster and uninspired product. Dress those comments as we may, it’s all still one big steaming pile of crap.
If both companies are producing crap and we’re content with arguing over who’s crap is more “original” than the other, how can either company truly be different? How can either company justify bringing real change to the product if we’re too busy discussing or nuancing the ways they can refine their crap? Simply put, it won’t happen because we’ve been conditioned to accept mediocrity as a norm. To really push the boundaries of our imaginations, to really invest in a logical and consistent storyline that creates long term fidelity instead of short term satisfaction, is to say something profound to each promotion in a way that will justify changing the product for the betterment of the business overall.
Here’s a thought I’ve promoted over various social media outlets many times before, and I’m thoroughly convinced neither TNA nor WWE have the balls (or ovaries) to be different in this regard: why not create a major storyline with female wrestlers as the leads and showcase them in a main event spot during a pay per view?
Don’t let the hype and speculation fool you; as much as the SI.com article about TNA and Dixie Carter would have you believe that she’s entering a world dominated by men (which she is), Dixie Carter is also among female contemporaries with just as much power and swag (if not more) as she has. Dixie Carter is in competition with Stephanie McMahon-Levesque and Bonnie Hammer (president of USA Networks). With McMahon-Levesque being made the “face” of her father’s promotion and touting that forty percent of the WWE’s audience is compromised of women, with Bonnie Hammer continuing to dominate cable network television, and with Dixie Carter stepping out into the fracas, now would be an optimal time for either organization to prove their mettle using such a storyline.
And it’s honestly not that hard a thing to do or accomplish. Today’s society sees a movement to establish both equality and equity between genders; if the writers can craft a simple and compelling storyline, it shouldn’t matter who plays the part. The only thing that will inevitably change is the way the protagonist in the story responds to the changing elements around them. Replace AJ Styles and Magnus with Gail Kim and Brooke Tessmacher respectively; replace Randy Orton and John Cena with AJ Lee and Natalya. Can we honestly say with a straight face that the storylines involving these women would diminish in quality because of their presence?
Of course there are several reasons as to why such a move would fail horribly; women’s wrestling is a niche market, a large swath of fans really don’t want to see a main event women’s angle, blah blah blah. But with so many fans complaining of the industry’s lack of originality, wouldn’t it make more sense to push the envelope in this way? Aren’t fans always complaining about the piss poor way women’s wrestling is treated here? Wouldn’t you, loyal and true pro wrestling fan, want to have the opportunity to brag about how your favorite wrestling promotion was the first to pioneer the industry with a successful major storyline involving women?
Nah … we want the same old crap. We’d rather celebrate the insipid trailblazing of a women’s division that lacks direction and … well … women. We’d rather sit idly by as the Total Divas are paraded incessantly before our eyes in an endless series of nonsensical matches and segments that are barely related to anything. We’d rather be the first to complain and whine about how bad one promotion treats its female athletes, ignore how badly the other promotion is treating their women’s division, and utilize any time in between to take pee breaks. Then we’ll simply turn around and blame the promotions for not doing things the way we’d like to see them, even though we already know deep within our hearts that we honestly don’t want to see either promotion veer too far away from what we know and love about them already.
This is why I say very few people have the balls (or ovaries) to do something different or to be different in pro wrestling. We’re all slaves to familiarity, and a promotion won’t risk alienating investors and advertisers to placate our selfishness. We’ll pay very good money to John Cena’s name in a main event marquee, but we won’t drop as nearly as much coin when Daniel Bryan is placed in the same situation. Argue against that if you choose to, but it is a stone cold fact; he who sells the most merchandise will be justifiably placed in the forefront, and the needle won’t move for anyone else until we create the demand for such a star. “They” don’t have the balls (or ovaries) to mess with that formula because we don’t have the balls (or ovaries) to be more than barking seals for what’s familiar and comfortable.
Yes it’s a ballsy move to create a network to showcase your vast library of pro wrestling history or continue to funnel money into a film studio that produces a steady stream of B-movies much to the delight of no one. Yes it’s a ballsy move to go head-to-head with a promotion that has a stranglehold on the business and to continue to buck a system that grows more stifling and hostile with each passing year. Creating the same type of product, mimicking the product of your competition, and refusing to put serious coin and consideration behind anti-typical wrestling superstar isn’t ballsy; it’s safe, it guarantees profit (be it large or small), and it conditions us all to go along with flow, believing we’re ultimately powerless to truly dictate what it is we like and want.
At the end of the day, the three major promotions aren’t all that different from one another when it comes to being “original.” There are very few individuals at this point in the game who have the unmitigated gall to push boundaries or at least try to be different and original in presenting their pro wrestling product (thank God for CHIKARA, Japanese wrestling, DragonGateUSA, EVOLVE, SHIMMER, Shine and WSU). But until we, the fans who pay money to see the action and drama displayed in between the ropes, expand our horizons and ask for something truly and deeply different instead of something superficially aesthetic, then all we’re going to get is what we’ve been getting … the same old mess. If we get the same old mess, all we’re going to have is the same old pointless complaints and hollow accolades.
So the real question is, how many of us have the balls (or ovaries) to be different?
C’mere, my nigga. Lemme pull yo coat right quick.
John Cena does NOT suck because he can’t wrestle. As I typed this sentence I can think of many good to great matches he’s had with the likes of Edge, Orton, HBK, Angle, Y2J, Rey Mysterio, Lesnar, Taker etc.
John Cena sucks because he almost always buries his opponent in promos.
I think about the last year or more in wrasslin… maybe the only people he didn’t utterly shit on in promos were Rock, Ryback and Mark Henry. He SOLD the notion that “Hey… you’re really big and strong… maaaaaaybe I might not win! Buuuuuuuuuuut… I’ll never give up!™©®”
Comparatively… when Cena was feuding with Punk during his 434 day reign… this nigga had lost like 66336534 straight matches against CM Punk… but this nigga was cutting promos talmbout “If you want respect and to be considered ‘Best in the World’ you gotta beat me!” Yeah nigga cuz MITB and SummerSlam 2011 NEVER. HAPPENED!
At this past SummerSlam he fought his lil buddy Daniel Bryan. Who, now he’s blowing his dick like Sydnee Capri in her PRIME… but leading up to that match he was straight like “I…. don’t think you can beat me, you lil goat faceded munchkin.”
WWE was hyping up the main event of TLC to be the greatest and most important match of ALL time. Because Rock/Hogan, Rock/Austin, Rock/Cena, Hogan/Andre, Hogan/Warrior, Hogan/Savage…. NONE of those happened. That whole undisputed title thing Jericho did back at Unforgiven 2001ish I believe… don’t matter. Beat Rock and Austin in one night, blah blah blah I digress…
My nigga Super Cena was outchea cutting promos on how Randy “I have the body of a Greek God” Orton was lazy, entitled. Only where he was because of nepotism. Even though I don’t know who the fuck the first generation Orton IS, Cowboy Bob was a glorified manager and Orton had 11 titles to Cena’s 14. Nooooooo… it is asking TOO much for the fucking babyface to fucking act as if he respects his opponent who’s had an eerily similar career/resumé. Cena might as well have said “Orton is a bitch who can’t beat me… no need to even buy the PPV cuz I’ma just whip his ass.”
Now… don’t get me wrong. I know Cena can’t win. When he cuts promos like he fears or respects his opponent, we groan because we’ve seen this before. When he buries people in promos, we groan because he’s the fucking top guy in no danger of losing his spot to anyone. Which leads me to my next point.
Cena isn’t dumb. He knows that Orton is going to carry the title at least into WrassleMania. So now… he’s slurping Daniel Bryan like “Oh he should get a fair chance to be champion” KNOWING full damn well that shit is NEVER happening. Which makes his verbal disrespect of The Face of WWE that much more glaring.
You know what segment should be retired forever for how repetitive, predictable and pointless it is? Other than contract signings. Easily the MOST pointless segment ever. Coronations and celebrations of all kinds. Only heels have them, and the babyfaces ALWAYS interrupt them. Last Monday, Orton stood in the ring and was talking his shit… and I was fucking furious when Cena started talking. Like one: WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE A MIC!?! Two: BITCH YOU LOST CLEAN WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING SHIT!?! Three: So… YOU lost… but Orton is only a real man and a true champion if he can beat a midget with a beard? Man, fuck you!
Cena could have been a REAL good guy and waited until Orton was finished having his moment… but no, like the douche he is, he interrupted him. Then, like a passive aggressive bitch he strung together several sentences about how “Yeah, you won fair and square, but you still ain’t shit.” And shit like this, is why Cena turning heel is pointless. That nigga IS a heel. With a shovel.
It has been said that a picture is worth one thousand words. Seeing as I really can’t wrap my thinking around my frustration with the heavyweight title scene in either TNA or WWE at this moment, I figured it’d be better to at least set the stage using pictures instead of words.
Shout out to Mr. Christopher Lamb for inspiring the follow simple, easy-to-understand graphics. Disclaimer: HOWEVER you feel about either wrestling promotion—good, bad, or indifferent—please do not enter into ANY conversation regarding their storylines regarding their own heavyweight championships without EXPLICITLY highlighting the following points:
WWE has been trolling for the last week. First, by not using the word ‘unification’ during a title unification announcement. Then, by having hella polls and articles about people holding two titles, but never at the same time. Lastly, they made sure to close all loopholes and, as usual, book themselves into a corner by having a contract signing and WWE App poll for the title unification. As always, I’m going to complain, even though I’m mostly happy.
For one, doing the title unification NOW means it won’t happen at WrassleMania. We won’t have to throw the Rumble winner in there as the guy with no belt fighting for two belts. Think logically and whoever wins NOW… who can they possibly face at Mania? If Cena wins… do we really want to see him versus Orton, Punk or Bryan at Mania? NO. If Orton wins, Cena and Bryan are out… which leaves Punk. Some guy has been writing for months that the perfect ending to The Authority storyline is Mr. Anti-Authority taking the belt off the corporation’s choice at Mania. That guy knows shit.
I marked out when CM Punk cut his promo about being anti-authority… as I have been wondering forever when he would be inserted into that storyline. Having him get beat up by The Shield is a brilliant way to start his “underdog babyface overcomes the stacking of the deck”… which reminds me… WWE’s heel booking sucks tremendously. Am I saying every heel needs to be booked as a monster and always win clean? No, I’m not, Quinn Gammon. I do not like how WWE books Orton at all. He has always kinda come off as a whiny coward as a heel. It was off-putting as fuck to have him attack Big Show, then complain that no one helped him. To demand help against Big Show, get help, then swear he never needed help. Yes. This IS how a heel should act. Yes. I am complaining simply because I want an 11 time champion to act secure and confident.
Cena is notorious for ‘burying’ guys in his promos. Orton is notorious for having a bad attitude over how he is booked. Which I can’t blame him for. They made him youngest world champion ever… then made him a midcarder for the better part of 3 years! Cena said Orton got lazy and expected to be handed things… nigga are those the abs of a lazy person? Naaaaaahhhhhh nigga… WWE booking is RARELY about work ethic… it’s about how much McMahon excrement you can swallow and call it chocolate. Do I need to remind you about how Daniel Bryan has been world champion twice this year for less than a day or how CM Punk won, then lost, and lost to HHH of all people while in the midcard, all while being as hot as one can possibly be?
Yeah. Orton will win at TLC. He won’t win in a fair one, as Cena has lost ONE match clean this year. I won’t care. (Yes I will. Expect, at some point in the near future, to read me bitching about how in EVERY possible chance WWE has to elevate guys to Cena’s level, they intentionally fuck it up) Between HHH, Kane, and The Shield, SOMEONE will help Orton climb that ladder. The storyline is, was and WILL be… Orton has finally become accepted as the man. (Kinda like when Rock finally got his Mania win over SCSA) I still love when HHH said after SummerSlam “the lump of coal that has become a diamond” which hearkened back to his formation of Evolution promo calling Orton “the next diamond”. IF Cena wins, which he won’t… that shit will be completely pointless.
Speaking of pointless… did you remember that Dean Ambrose was the US champ? Yeah… that belt needs to go away soon. I won’t care if they unify the IC and US belts on Main Event, nigga, that shit needs to happen ASAP. A hidden benefit to shrinking the main event and midcard title pictures, is that the belts will mean more. The WHC had become what the IC belt used to be, and the IC belt became like the Million Dollar belt or Zack Ryder’s Internet belt… yeah.
Cuz I’m contrary… as I write about less belts making belts matter more, I still say the Light Heavyweight or Cruiserweight title needs to come back for Hunico/Sin Cara to truly get his shine on. I have always liked him, and if they can finally make him versus Mysterio at Mania, that match NEEDS to be for the belt. I say bring back Evan Bourne, Justin Gabriel, throw in Heath Slater, Tyson Kidd, Yoshi Tatsu (if they still have him LOL) and whoever the hell else… and have Sin Cara push Rey off the ladder and win the belt and BAM… feud.
Annnnnnnd… nothing else worth talking about, so FIN.
I’ve written here about being for a title unification/ending the brand extension because there aren’t enough top shelf stars to fill a year of main events. Then I changed my mind, and decided that there could be two title pictures, they just need to stop putting the belt around people like my man Alberto Del Rio that kind of dilute the championship. Then John Cena became WHC again, and it seemed like WWE cared about making the WHC legit again. Annnnnnd just a few minutes ago as I type this, HHH announced they will unify the belts at TLC. I finally understand the point of the brand extension and why two titles were necessary, and still may be.
The biggest problem WWE is facing is not that they don’t have enough stars or potential stars. The problem is overexposure plus horrible booking. WWE has a guy like Alberto Del Rio on EVERY episode of Raw and SmackDown and he has fought for a world championship at damn near ever pay per view going back two years. He debuted months before the 2011 Royal Rumble and before he could connect with the audience or develop his character, he was thrust into the spotlight. He doesn’t have any charisma at all, but I think he’d be a legit main eventer with years of winning midcard titles and building real crowd heat. I just wrote about The Miz, who WAS the main event of WrassleMania, and is the inverse of Del Rio, not a technically proficient wrestler, but has charisma and can cut a promo. He has been jobbed out like a motherfucker. I’m not sure he can ever be built back up to that main event level. I hope that he can.
Cynical fans, the so-called IWC, love to say stupid shit about how John Cena and the PG era are destroying wrestling. (Yes, I’m spelling it right, Quinn) What is watering it down is seeing guys like Kofi Kingston lose every week. Before WWE thought it would be a good idea to put all the top stars on Raw every week, you could focus on writing storylines for a guy only being on one show. Now, every week you have to figure out a way for John Cena and Randy Orton to not lose clean twice. I can understand why that is difficult. The entire reason they did the brand extension in the first place… was they put Stone Cold and HHH on Raw, The Rock and The Undertaker on SmackDown. Then, every year just to keep shit fresh, they’d do a draft to move guys from show to show. They broke THAT model circa 2009. SmackDown was arguably better than Raw 2007-2008. The title picture was Batista, Edge, HHH, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, CM Punk and The Undertaker. LOTS of memorable matches there. Then like all those guys went to Raw. SmackDown became an afterthought.
Raw has always been Vince’s baby. Vince seems to need Raw to be the only show that matters. Which is fucking retarded when you have no less than 5 shows on tv and online a week. So all the big stars are on Raw, all the big storylines happen on Raw. Raw is recapped 46533544 times on Main Event, SmackDown, Superstars and NXT. NXT is the developmental show. Superstars is ironically named because it’s for jobbers. Main Event features jobbers and midcard level guys. SmackDown has become where we have matches they’ll repeat on Raw because THEY ASSUME NO ONE FUCKING WATCHED SMACKDOWN! My point again: Raw and SmackDown should have a separate roster evenly balanced, with two world titles.
WWE doesn’t care what its fans want though, so we’re returning to the era where storylines carry from one show to the other, with less talent and worse writing/booking. All I want is for Randy Orton to be put over Cena, and since TLC is no dq it won’t be clean and doesn’t have to be. So this probably means that WrassleMania will be trash but Daniel Bryan and CM Punk might jerk the curtain… *sigh*
Go back to WrassleMania XXVII. Michael Mizanin was the main event of WrassleMania. They played a wonderful video package set to “Hate Me Now” showing his meteoric rise from The Real World to WWE Champion. It’s so funny to think of that… then remember he’s facing Kofi “I do more jobs than real Jamaicans” Kingston on YouTube, where he’s BEEN on the card for most of this year. Everything SINCE WrassleMania XXXVII was the set up to his failure, and it’s OBVIOUS.
I remember the Mania match for three things. One: It was slow paced and boring. Two: The main event ended by double countout. Three: Miz won when Dwayne screwed John Cena, then suffered a similar fate when, in a foreshadowing of the next two years of booking, The Rock stood over the main event of WrassleMania. I am of the impression that WWE booking is essentially the management telling them who wins and loses and how, and they fill in everything between the entrances and the finish themselves. If that is the case, then John Cena helped paint a disasterpiece. No one was expecting Taker/HBK, Savage/Steamboat, Austin/Bret, Angle/Lesnar etc but when you THINK about THOSE Mania matches, that brutal brawl looks even MORE brutal.
It was inevitable that The Miz would lose the belt feuding with Cena. He is the picture of how not to book a guy you want to be taken seriously. He won the belt with the Money In The Bank after Orton had been beaten before a title match by the Nexus then after he finally beat Barrett. This is not a crime, winning is winning, my nigga. But then… he would feud with Orton and… Jerry Lawler? Jerry The King Lawler was literally on the last rung of climbing the WWE title ladder when Michael Cole would cost him the belt by grabbing his ankle. Orton had him beaten multiple times but was cost multiple title opportunities by CM Punk. In a nutshell… every last damn one of Miz’s successful title defenses was a screwy finish. Heel or no, this is NOT how you book a guy you want people to buy into as the real deal. And yes, I get that CM Punk and Orton feuded, as did… Lawler and Cole… Blah. Overall… The Miz came tertiary to two midcard feuds and was a stepping stone to Rock/Cena main eventing the next two years.
All of that is bad enough if that was all. No. The next year at Mania, Miz only made the card as part of a tag match. Year after that, he won the Intercontinental title on the preshow. Main event to midcard to preshow. Yikes. What did Miz do immediately after losing the belt to Cena? He jobbed to his lackey, who stopped mattering like three months later. Seriously: When was the last time you saw Alex Riley on Raw or SmackDown? Yeah.
This piece was inspired by me watching Aaron Rift’s No DQ&A video… when he was saying that Miz needed to turn heel because the face turn didn’t work. He said Miz was over in 2011 and fans were chanting “Aaaaaaaawwwwwwweeeeeeesooooooommmmmme” with him… that he could see Miz being a lesser version of The Rock, with the fans chanting his catchphrases and whatnot… Here’s where I get conspiratorial: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD “I’m The Miz… and I’m aaaaaaaaawwwwwwweeeeeeeesommmmmmmme”!?! Almost as if… WWE didn’t WANT him over as a babyface. The most they ever did for him was have Ric Flair pass him the Figure Four so he could botch it repeatedly. VERY easy to see how he is set up to fail. Look at how Daniel Bryan is never given promo time or opportunity outside of his entrance, during and after matches to lead “YES” chants. And now Big Show has successfully horned in on his crowd heat, because without “YES” by association, he’d get *crickets*. Remember when Zack Ryder got himself over with his internet show, signed over his gimmick to WWE, cancelled his show, and got jobbed into irrelevance? Seems mighty like WWE is not at all into people getting over organically, and penance is sliding down the card, doing jobs along the way. Miz is working the preshow, and The Best In The World and Goatface are going to job to The Wyatt Family. Survivor Series: Where Screwjobs Happen.
Hey… remember back a couple years when there was a little tag team called “Awesome Truth”? Remember they brought back The Rock, but they blamed The Miz for the low buyrates? Yeah. Kinda like how it’s not Orton or lack of Cena or terrible booking and cards explaining low buyrates during Bryan’s leprechaun time main eventing. Yeah.
Good luck creating stars when you refuse to push guys AND book them strong while they are hot, WWE.
Things have been particularly slow around these parts from some time, and we thank all of you for returning to the site regularly hoping to see a new piece of whatever it is we do posted here. It’s particularly hard for your L.E.W.D. family to keep content fresh and moving forward we’ll do our best to do so while also taking care of our individual and/or collective personal responsibilities…which, as you can probably guess, keep us way more busy than the average bear; and average bears are pretty effin’ busy.
Those things notwithstanding, here are my *candid* thoughts on a few things that have occurred in the past week, most of which are dated but still fresh enough to force my own opinion down the gullets of anyone reading these words.
Chris Hero Future Endeavored…OHNO!!!
Unlike some I wasn’t sad in the sense that I was pissed off at Vince McMahon for not recognizing the “greatness” of one of the IWC’s indy darlings, nor was I sad in the sense that I believed Hero refused to “play ball in the big leagues” as some sites reported.
I was sad because I was extremely hopeful that it was only a matter of time before Hero debuted on prime time WWE TV as Kassius Ohno. I was looking forward to seeing him flex his skills on RAW or Smackdown. I even created a pipe dream about him being the one to knock John Cena down a peg or two or three.
Well…so much for that.
In wrestling, however, the phrase “never say never” pops up frequently. Hero released an official statement last week following his release, noting that he parted ways with the company on good terms (much to the IWC’s chagrin, because everyone that leaves WWE leaves on bad terms, right?) and the possibility of a return in the future. Hero also noted the following, which I think is possibly the most important for any Chris Hero fan to hear, note, embrace and accept:
When things happen that we don’t like, it’s our instinct look for answers. We get sad. We get mad. In this situation, there’s nothing to be sad about! And rather than being angry about what has happened, I want you all to be happy about what’s going to happen! I’ll be back with a vengeance, I assure you. The best way to support me is with positive energy.
Again, while I am saddened that for the time being Chris Hero is no longer employed by WWE, I can (along with all of his other fans) can take solace in knowing that publicly he’s in positive space about his termination. He immediately took bookings with other promotions (which should be somewhat of a shock for those fans itching about the e90-day no compete clause) and as some analysts have stated, stands to make goo-gobs of money because his stock has climbed exponentially after being employed in the “big leagues.”
With the news of his release hitting the information super highway, it was also only a matter of time before the unavoidable question was asked, “Do you think TNA should sign Chris Hero?” It’s rare when I say “yes” to questions like this (for various and obvious reasons), but in this instance I would say “yes.” Ironically enough, this reason behind my “yes” will serve as a great segue to the next point…
TNA and Ethan Carter III: Great Job
When it was reveled that Michael Hutter was signed to TNA and would debut as Ethan Carter III, TNA President Dixie Carter’s nephew, I literally thought to myself “Hmmm…I want to see how this turns out.” Even though he’s only been in TNA for a month, Hutter seems comfortable and right at home, all while providing a much needed breath of fresh air for the IMPACT Wrestling product.
Debates concerning TNA’s locker room always intrigue me; at one point fans proclaimed that the company’s roster was too large, that it was over saturated with under utilized talent. I never agreed with that idea. I always believed and stated the opposite, that the roster was too small and the product lacked the structures (i.e. divisions) to showcase everyone on routine basis without diluting major storylines or creative directions. To say it another way, TNA’s mid-card sucked.
To complicate matters even more TNA rarely cycled out its main event stars, making the product feel labored and dated despite the stellar wrestling matches that occurred often. For the most part a ton of the main event stars in TNA today were the big dogs in the yard 8-10 years ago. It was this logic that some used to justify the widespread release of talent earlier this year…that and the reality of budget cuts.
These things aside, TNA’s roster paled in comparison to the WWE roster. Given that the latter company has been around for much longer and airs programming almost seven days a week, a roster in Vince McMahon’s hands has to be large to accommodate for tons of programs and public relations duties. As such the rate at which the company farms talent far surpasses that of TNA; superstars and divas come in droves, even though there are only so many precious spots to be filled by a select cadre of individuals.
When you’ve herded individuals into your developmental system while grasping to the “dime a dozen” belief system, some stars are bound to get over looked and under appreciated for their skills and gifts. Even still, others may not stand out because they’re seemingly not all that different from five or ten other stars in their group.
Such is the case for Ethan Carter and even Chris Hero. As WWE’s Derrick Bateman, Michael Hutter competed with numerous other up-and-coming stars for a spot in the company. As Kassius Ohno, Chris Spradlin was swimming against the tide of a system that is reportedly still looking for the next John Cena/Hulk Hogan Bigger-Than-Life Sports Entertainer.
Talents like Hutter and Spradlin are good for TNA because they’ve yet to have the WWE stigma ingrained in their characters. Yes, some will argue that once again TNA is hiring “WWE rejects,” but in reality Hutter and Spradlin have not been encumbered with carrying that burden on their careers. As stars in TNA, where there is a dire need for fresh “home grown” talent, there is tons of space and opportunity to shine and showcase what makes them stand out from any of the other cookie cutter wrestlers.
Hutter has obviously found a perfect spot for character growth and development as EC3 in TNA, and Spradlin could do the same as Chris Hero or by any other name. It all depends on whether TNA chooses to court him and if he’d like to work in the company.
Suit and Tie is a pretty good song. If you haven’t heard it, it’s one of Justin Timberlake’s new singles off of his upcoming new album and it features Jay-Z. When I say it’s pretty good, that means I enjoy it and think many people will, Kanye West not included. The backdrop is lively and exciting; JT’s voice and lyrics, save for one or two select lines, offer his traditional level of swag that only he seems to exude, and Jay-Z’s verse doesn’t take away from the song.
Therein lies my critiquing, however. Suit and Tie is pretty good, but it’s not great. A few lines are too grandiose for someone, even of Timberlake’s stature, to take seriously, and Jay-Z’s verse, while taking nothing away from the song, is unmemorable and unnecessary. The true star of the track is Timbaland (Virginia knows music ^_^) and his key role in the production. The blaring trumpets add that terrific little bit of “extra” that pushes the song forward.
But I have to come back to the Jay-Z verse because it follows what feels like a trend of uninspired verses (“Get up out ya seat, Hov” is SO hilarious in that regard) with his guest appearances. Perhaps I wouldn’t harp on it so much if he didn’t sound like he was trying to imitate a certain “good” rapper’s flow; metaphors aside, he sounds like he’s trying to – and not successfully – channel Kanye West’s style, down to the lyrics, and I can only imagine he’s still feeling the sting from Renegade 2.0, or Run This Town if you want to use the official terminology.
The track didn’t need a guest verse, period, may have even been just as good without it (translation: remix) but if it was
doomed destined to have one then I could have just as easily seen longtime Jay-Z rival and current musical winner Nas taking that spot, if we’re set on using legends. His recent experiences and album, all storied for better or worse, put him in a position where he could offer a grandiose and club-ready verse that didn’t just sound inspired, but fitting. A guest verse is a deadly trap on many songs because it could easily result in the guest rapper overshadowing the main star, but it has to add to the song and NOT take away from the main performer either. To Jay-Z’s credit, he doesn’t take away from the song, but that’s about all. Otherwise he comes across as bored and underpaid. Kind of brings Kanye’s rant about not liking Suit and Tie into perspective, doesn’t it?
See what I just did there? That was analysis. That’s what we do here at L.E.W.D., all of us, and we do it with pride, dignity and a little thing called class. Therefore, when we craft some gold (which is normal: it would be better to use the metaphor of platinum or diamond) we like it when people listen, view and respond. Yes, we like it. We like it more than Grand Puba and his track “I Like It” and how he liked the track “I Like It” from DeBarge, who collectively liked Janet Jackson. Just shy of love, but rather high on like.
Some of you may agree with us. Some of you may not. Some of you may like how we talk about possibly bookings. Some of you may not like how we seem to systematically dismantle Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Well again, we appreciate all of these opinions, but at the end of the day it comes down to one simple mentality, as vocalized by this large, scary gentleman here:
That being said, there’s a stereotype that we here at L.E.W.D. headquarters that we HATE Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. This is untrue. It can be said that I, Da Infamous One, hate TNA. That wouldn’t be an untruth. No one here, except for maybe a couple, has shed more tears over the company and it’s tremendous wasted potential than I have, but to their credit they may have shed tears of sorrow. Not
I know what you’re thinking. “So DiZ, you amorous avatar of acceptable avarice, if you hate – and reasonably so – TNA so much, why are you talking about it?” Well to answer you question, loyal serf or dishonorable Smith, I am giving the ill-fated company my attention because there is a PPV tonight. Yes, tonight is the ninth annual Lockdown, live from San Antonio’s scenic Alamodome. After months of build up, we get to see a number of matches that feature… wait, let me give it the proper definition: it will feature professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers will portray villains, heroes or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminated in a wrestling match or a series of matches.
And no one cares.
Understand, I was going to put that line in later but here is just as good as there. No one cares. That’s not to say that TNA doesn’t have fans that care (we know my point of view on TNA “fans”), but frankly very little makes sense. TNA comes across as a place where wrestling matters, and nothing else does, not even wrestling. Yes, it’s a contradiction of itself and that’s how it goes at an R. Kelly party.
But the wrestling fan/analyst/bon vivant/world class connoisseur of the booty that is me (Da Infamous One) knows that TNA still has a chance to be something, and that is why I continue to watch the car crash that is Dixie Carter’s establishment. Hopefully it’ll get better in time. I just doubt it’ll be tonight. So while I prepare to shed more tears, I briefly look at the current card and offer a few words of commentary, giving you all a semblance of solace at how my hatred for TNA is nothing compared to the melancholy (total lack of care) that comes from the media:
So onward to the matches!
Robbie E vs. Robbie T
For a long time I had a long time telling who was who, and even now I have a hard time telling. I like the big one; he’s awkward and less annoying. Watching the disruptive destruction of the Jersey Shore knockoffs even new sexy bodied Snookie would find to be annoying is fun, I’ll admit that, but it’s hard to take it anymore than just that: fun. Not even high fun, just regular fun. I find it disproportionate because while big Robbie is enjoyable, little Robbie is like an over groomed poodle: he’s there and he’s little else. Is he good in the ring? Sure. Are they both good in the ring? No doubt. But let’s be honest: TNA excels in putting on good physical action. You will be hard pressed to find anyone on this site who thinks otherwise. But professional wrestling without good storytelling is not a good product. It’s kind of like God of War: Ascension. Sure, it’s a good game, but one bit of blatant misogyny can ruin the experience something fierce, and that’s saying something when bare breasts, horny harems and my absolute favorite (don’t judge me) media representation of the goddess Aphrodite (Venus if you’re part of the Roman crowd) are the norm.
At the end of the day, I expect the big Robbie to win, start “dancing” to dubstep, and continue being as awkward as only he knows how to be. That’s about it.
Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan
I thought Joey Ryan was fired.
*eleven minutes later*
Seriously, I thought that *edited for the L.E.W.D. audience* was fired a long time ago. As valid as the porn star gimmick is (flies for a male but never for a female; I call that sexism!) it just seemed about as valid as Brad Maddox’s annoying douchebag character did to me. To Maddox’s credit, much like Sandow’s, I enjoy him. Joey Ryan, not so much. This isn’t even talking about Joseph Parks though.
And if you’ve seen some of my older posts, you’ll see that I like Joseph Parks. Hell, I think Parks is better off as Joseph than Abyss. Much like the bigger Robbie, he’s big, awkward and, most importantly, entertaining. Sure, the story of the character is odd. Why someone would willingly give up a job as a lawyer, in this economy, to be a wrestler in the number two company? Again, not logical, but Joseph Parks is still a very enjoyable figure to see go around the ring. You actually see this story of him improving, and frankly it displays a degree of brilliance I’m surprised the writers still have. He’s cool. And he’s likely going to win. Because he’s big. And in this company, big people eat the little people.
Kenny King (c) vs. Christian York vs. Zema Ion for the X Division Championship
Is this an Ultimate X match? If not, was there build up for this? If not… what?!
Don’t get me wrong: I like matches like these. These were, at one point of time, a shining star in the potential that was TNA’s primordial ooze. X Division matches and X Division wrestlers were quick, athletic, spunky and specialized in spots, and you know what? That was a-ok in my book. It made TNA worth watching because it was a part of their identity, along with a respectable women’s division and a six-sided ring, but now I wonder: what exactly IS the X Division? I remember there were weight requirements at one point a la light heavyweight/cruiserweight status, but now I don’t know.
I’m sure it’ll be a good match, but honestly: King JUST won the title from RVD. Where the hell is RVD in this championship match equation? If John Cena had the WWE title and lost in on RAW, I would fully expect him to be in a rematch at the next PPV. If Gillberg won a… heh, sorry, let me try that again. If Gillberg won… HA!
Okay, okay, one more time, I’ll get it this time around. Ahem! If Gillber…
I pick the champ to retain.
The Canadians (Austin Aries and Bobby Roode) (c) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. The Mexicans (Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez) for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
I know, I know, Austin Aries isn’t REALLY from Canada, but he’s from Wisconsin and dammit, that’s close enough!
Three-way tag team matches always confused me. Unless they were tornado tag matches, and even that has the potential to get really sloppy really quickly. The good news is that this match of six features six technicians, and every one of them knows how to put on a great match.
Before I talk about how I like a handful of these guys, let me say that this match DOES have some solid backstory. The Canadians are jerks who took the titles off of the Mexicans, and Bad Influence is a pair of overly entertaining jerks (I die every time Daniels calls Jeff Hardy “Jefferson” or Bully Ray “Raymond”) who wants gold. You don’t need a lot for a good story, people, and this is proof. All you need is good entertaining people to tell a passable story and let them do the rest with their ring work. And frankly, Christopher Daniels could do it solo: he has at least three people helping him with it though, so it’s even better.
As happy as I’d be to see Bad Influence win, I see… I see them winning, what a coincidence! While Austin and Roode are a great team, I see Bad Influence getting even “badder” and carrying the gold.
Velvet Sky (c) vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Isn’t it a bit contradictory – or at the very least unnecessary – to say “women’s” and “knockout”? Whatever. Do you know how much I love Gail Kim? Probably not. I don’t know what she does to stay looking so young, what she does to stay so fit (what with a celebrity chef for a husband), or what she does to stay so fresh and fluid in the ring, but she does it and she does it oh so well. God bless you, Gail Kim. Why, I remember going to Bound for Glory one year, my first wrestling PPV, and Gail Kim was in a match with… I don’t remember who and I don’t care. But I stood and cheered, screamed her name and celebrated throughout. While jumbo behind me didn’t find my standing and applauding to be amusing (wouldn’t have hurt for him to stand up himself, but I digress) I swear I saw Gail look my way and give me a wink. Oh, such wonderful memories. My heart went aflutter, my voice went up a notch, my pants felt a bit tighter and…
Er… uh… Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky. I see Gail winning this one; a dirty win, mind you, with some grade A quality heel tactics, but it’s a good thing! Gail’s a heel right now, she needs to be doing that! At the risk of revealing more of my
lust love for Gail Kim I’m going to just move on now…
Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco
Story: Wes Brisco betrayed Kurt Angle and joined the Wild Bill Hickok English Speaking Vernacular. Period. Angle wants revenge. Brisco… I don’t know, he didn’t make the Lethal Lockdown team? Frankly they had to do SOMETHING with this talentless (yeah, I’m underwhelmed) kid.
This is the non-title, non-team cage match, and because cage matches work so well for Angle when the Two Pair Persecution Affinity is involved. Do I expect a good match? Frankly, no. I fully expect Angle to run circle around Brisco until the… bike-less gang interferes, with all their faceless recruits and, of course, D’Lo Brown. Because when you think old west themed biker gangs without bikes, you think a black man like D’Lo Brown!
You know what, I was gonna bring this up at the end but I’ll do it now: what asshole thought making D’Lo Brown part of this was a good idea?!! I think D’Lo was surprised when this was announced! Someone literally sat down and said, “I have an idea! Let’s make D’Lo a part of this!” And D’Lo probably went, “Wha? People don’t even know who the hell I am! Hell, I hardly know who I am! Let me check my underwear…” But it was too late! Not only does the outlaw biker gang sans bikes have yet ANOTHER black guy in it (cultural aspect) but it has someone in it that NOBODY knows! What do you think was the bigger Google search at the time?
Was it A:“Who is D’Lo Brown?”,
B: “Who the hell is D’Lo Brown?” or, my favorite
C: “Who the hell is D’Lo Brown?!!?!!?”
And Vice President?! A while back a conversation on Twitter regarding… a certain member of G.O.O.D. Music that was not Diminutive Anderson drove me away for the rest of the day. D’Lo Brown’s “reveal” as the vice president of this rather local, small-time, should-be-eaten-up-by-the-Black-Tuna-Gang piss pot of a biker gang (Ron Pearlman would NOT be amused) did the exact same thing, except it drove me away from TV, and video games, and made me curl up with my Kindle and read a book. Because I was sad, and nearly cried because TNA achieved the impossible. THAT I will reserve until a later paragraph though.
See that? In any case, I have Brisco winning due to leather vested interference.
Team TNA (The Joker, Richmond’s Favorite Foreigner, Wasted Talent Numero Uno, James Storm and Not-So-Super Eric) vs. Fifth Card Unknown (Pastor D-Von, Mr. Kennedy, Rey Mysterio’s Pimp, Imposter Kane and Diet Bischoff Lite)
I… no, to hell with it. I’m gonna go eat some ribs and cry in the sink. Team TNA is gonna win, happy?! Dammit!
*some time later*
There’s a reason everyone has their nickname, sans James Storm. Sting comes across as more and more psychotic as the weeks go by (not a good trait for a man running a show), Magnus is billed from Richmond, Virginia (which I hold to be a grimy location), Samoa Joe is completely and utterly underutilized, Eric Young was known as Super Eric as one point, Devon played a pastor character in the WWE, Anderson is… the same as when he was in the WWE, Mike Knox pretty much had Rey Mysterio singing Daddy’s Home every time Mike Knox was around way back when, Gallows was once the fake Kane and, finally, there’s Garett Bischoff… and we don’t care.
You may be wondering why James Storm was spared this treatment. Well, he was once allied with Gail Kim, and that means he gets even more respect from me. Now, since I’ve cried and had a few ribs, let’s talk about this match, shall we?
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
No, there’s really nothing to talk about for the previous match outside of the fact that it takes place in a cage… thing. It’ll be violent and, at the end of the day, pointless. It’s bad when an entire group is referred to as the world gimmick of 2012 (puts a damper on that whole “2013 is the year of Aces and Eights” thing, doesn’t it, Devon?). That thing I was referring to earlier, that I said I would revisit in a later paragraph? TNA has officially become the first company I know of that has systematically jumped the shark THRICE. That means three times. This James Butler Condemnation Affiliate is abysmal in every way, and the only thing that could redeem it now is a nude scene. Yes, a Brooke Hogan nude scene. Tasteless? Very, but you’ve given up on quality, you can at LEAST go for flat out smut.
But whatever. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the championship, in a steel cage. What we have is everyone’s favorite redemption story (*holding my tongue*) versus everyone’s favorite friendly bully. It comes across as a bad episode of Recess, combined with an afterschool special with music done by Seth Macfarlane.
Yeah, that bad. But that’s a very basic view: the build-up was okay, at best, and the actual match has potential to be a good one. Bully Ray is a terrific wrestler and Jeff Hardy is a terrific stuntman. That means there will be a lot of jumping and a lot of mat work. It’ll be good, so long as Hardy isn’t drunk; NO! BAD DIZ, TAKE THAT BACK! What I meant to say was that it’ll be a good match so long as both parties are at their peak. That being said, I don’t know who is winning this one.
I have no idea: it’ll be the main reason I watch the PPV. If Hardy wins, then… nothing. That’s the end all be all. His story is one of getting beat up by the Hoyle Deck Society. Should Bully Ray win, nepotism is proven to be alive and well, and Triple H will be a 14-time world champion. Yeah, it was a lame joke, but that’s all Bully Ray’s storyline is right now. He falls in love with girl Hogan, marries girl Hogan, becomes the “future” of the company… it’s Triple H’s story, minus the fun, and the sexy brunette with an ass that just won’t quit. It’s still just a creepy relationship though; on-screen, in the mind, its like something out of a Tecmo game, and if you saw how the first draft of this piece went you’d know EXACTLY why that’s a problem!
But Hardy vs. Ray, or Jefferson vs. Raymond as Christopher Daniels might call it, is an unknown for me. I’ve no idea.
And that concludes my preview of 2013 Lockdown. Do I expect to be amused? Meh. Give me a good match with Gail Kim and a swift end to Wes Brisco’s TNA career, and MAYBE I’ll graduate from “meh” to “okay”. Blee.
Hi, I’m DiZ. The following is a rather profane, though dangerously focused, rant from L.E.W.D. brother Corbin Macklin. While L.E.W.D. does not intentionally seek to dilute the potency of brother Macklin’s original piece, it has been edited so as not to greatly offend the audience and to maintain a particular level of professionalism and certain standard maintained by the writers of the site. Nevertheless this piece is fueled by pure emotion, people, and I feel it clearly coincides with a lot of people’s views after the Royal Rumble PPV last night.
I offer this disclaimer though: this is a VERY explosive rant, and in reading it you agree to read some very explicit material. That is your warning. If you are of a weak constitution or find yourself easily offended, I suggest you stick to the other pieces on the site.
It must also be said that the comments and views posted here in the piece, including the language and style represented here, do not reflect those of the other members and writers of the L.E.W.D. Crew and website. To reiterate, this piece is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY. Reader discretion is advised.
With nothing more to say, I present Corbin Macklin’s rant: “…”
I feel worse right now than I did when my grandfather died, and the chick I loved at the time stopped talking to me the day before he was buried. Somewhere somebody is thinking “Gahdamn this dude Corbin’s priorities are JACKED up! So much emotion over fake fighting…” To those people: screw you.
Screw Dwayne Johnson. Screw John Cena. Screw Vince McMahon. Screw Paul Levesque. Screw Stephanie McMahon. Screw any and everyone that was remotely invested in the fuckery that took place in the main event of the Royal Rumble. Especially screw you if you’re happy Rocky Maivia is WWE Champion.
One of the main reasons I’m mad is because Punk won. Then they Dusty Finished all the smarks by restarting the match. In the space of two or three tweets I went from clicking my heels 3 feet off the ground to laying face down in the floor. One could say: Great job by creative eliciting such emotion from a fake fight. Screw that person. Screw creative. That mess wasn’t creative at all. After that transpired all the hell I saw all up and down my timeline was “EFF CENA AND ROCK II”. Meaning, this stuff is boring and ridiculously predictable.
I called my best friend and sat in stunned silence before he pissed me off by saying “You knew Rock was gonna win”. I screamed “NO” then told him what I opened this rant with. I told him: “You just ended the longest title reign in forever, for a guy who won’t wrestle but two more times before absconding back to Hollywood to make his boring ass movies I’m not going to watch.” Because screw him. Forget building a new star to rival Punk and Cena that will actually wrestle on RAW. Forget giving that rub to someone who needs it.
Things like this is why I don’t believe in the word ‘deserve’. Tell me Rocky Maivia deserved to be in a world championship match after wrestling two matches in eight years and Iswearfogawd I will slap the taste outchu.
Nothing any of you can say to me @CorbinMacklin on twitter or in these comments will convince me that this mess needed to transpire. I WILL curse you out should you be dumb enough to attempt. I quintuple mothereffing dog dare anyone to try to explain to me how the HELL putting a part timer we may not see again in 2013 after WrassleMania over the company’s top two workers makes sense.
Chick Magnet Punk can win the belt back on RAW. I’m still going to be pissed. Chick Magnet Punk can win the belt back at Elimination Chamber. I’m still going to be pissed. Chick Magnet Punk can win the belt back at WrassleMania. I’m still going to be pissed. You know why I’m pissed? BECAUSE EVERYONE READING THIS KNOWS GOOD AND WELL PHIL CHICK MAGNET PUNK BROOKS HAS A SNOWBALLS CHANCE IN HELL OF SNIFFING THAT MAIN EVENT UNTIL AFTER THE ROCK LEAVES AGAIN.
You destroyed a potential classic between Phil Brooks and Mark Calloway, Vince.. Screw you. The table was set to make history. By Mania, Punk would have been champ over 500 days. That streak plus Taker’s streak is a license to print money. We. Would. Actually. Believe. Taker. Could. LOSE. At. Mania. BY SHOW OF HANDS WHO IN THE HELL THINKS CM PUNK IS BEING POSITIONED TO END THE STREAK NOW? FORGET YOU IF YOU RAISED YOUR HAND!
Vince ‘deserves’ to be losing money quarterly for dumb stuff just like this. Nothing they do will be as great as my fantasies of my hometown superstar besting Hollywood’s Champ and the work once a year Satanist in the same year. Nothing. Phil Brooks could win back the belt and hold it ten years and you have still shat on something great.
Show of hands… who thinks Cena is going to pick Alberto Del Rio? Screw you. Get off my website reading my greatness. You disgust me. We all know WWE is going to make Rock – Cena: Twice in A Lifetime now. Dumbest stuff ever. Even if they make it a triple threat and Punk wins, you STILL made your top two guys job to that candy ass jabroni. THE HELL!!!
So all that said, I’m not doing anything drastic like not watching Raw. But I will be pissed when Rock does little more than cut promos. I’m going to be pissed when every tweet that reflects on that result positively trolls me. I’m going to be pissed about this mess forEVER. And… this is EXACTLY why I love this fake stuff.
My memories of the infamous Attitude era of the WWE (then WWF) are lacking. I can remember the bigger things: I remember Brian Pillman (RIP), the sexual overtones, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels’ major feud, ‘Taker and Michaels’ equally significant feud, Tyson, and of course the face of the era himself: Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I suppose you can group the era into seven major factors (hyperbole, but for the sake of this piece we’ll use seven): the rises of Stone Cold and The Rock, the Ministry of Darkness, the Brothers of Destruction, Degeneration-X, the rise of the many faces of Foley and the long-standing war between Austin and McMahon. Up until recently I was looking for a missing link between what I was attempting to write a little while back and what I’ve been trying to scribe here for what seems like several weeks. That link comes from the Attitude era. It comes from the feud between Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Looking at the return of The Rock, I can’t help but immediately return to the why of his return in the first place. His irregular forays into professional wrestling/sports entertainment have been to put someone over on the entertainment side and to bring in reasonable financial gain on the business side. At this point it’s fair to say that he’s more a Hollywood mainstay (which is pushing it a little in my tastes) than a special guest Superstar. Skipping ahead a bit it functions as the reason I’m not for him winning the WWE Championship at the Rumble; he’d fall under the same category of people that Punk criticized recently, i.e. Bob Backlund. Kayfabe, to be sure, but I find it to be an interesting deal. In any case, Dwayne Johnson’s latest foray back revolves around his gripes with the bastard son of Kamino engineering and Kal-El himself, John Cena.
Some might say that that isn’t true. It is. And you may not realize it, but you’re
likely wrong if you disagree. I’m talking to YOU, Adrian. Everything about The Rock’s latest romp has, in some capacity, revolved around John Cena, whether shameless talking about how much he doesn’t like him, to misinterpreting colonial American history and polluting sources of water AGAIN by throwing in Cena merchandise, to mysteriously shutting up after his Wrestlemania victory. Remember, he was relatively quiet after that until CM Punk began to run his mouth more and more heel-ishly. The announcement was made that he would have a WWE Championship match at the Rumble and I don’t think I can invoke my reaction any better than this here. Mostly because it made no sense. Secondly because it was an almost perfect set-up for Once in a Lifetime… Again. Which cheapens a good match from a good PPV. That’s the exposition; now let’s get into the sexy elaboration.
With Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules, Over the Limit, No Way Out, there was a theme. Each match featured a significant match with Cena and someone trying to
murder defeat him. This does not differ from most of his matches in concept, but we were dealing with Kane’s attempt to drag him into darkness, the Big Show living up to his “new” contract with the “fat” bonus and, of course, Brock Lesnar’s violent, and highly appreciated, decimation of Doomsday before being overcome by his equally broken opponent. Again, nothing special about that, except for one thing: John Laurinaitis.
Outside of failed Odd Future philosopher Scorpio “Harold” Sky and the unknown soldier known only as Dr. Shelby (no one can verify that his name is Sam Huntington), there are few out-of-ring talents I immediately appreciated. The chain-smoker voice, the petrified wood chin, the history as a skateboarder, the past with a porn star, the still head-scratchingly confusing WXO promo, he was a godsend. He was great. He had a problem with Cena, just like he did with Punk (foreshadowing) and it showed as Cena became more and more of a nuisance to the executive vice president of talent relations and the general manager of both RAW and SmackDown! Mr. Excitement, as I’m sure Seka called him during their relationship, had a mission: kill Superman. And with this Lex Luthor state of mind, Johnny Ace (as I’m not so sure Seka called him during their relationship) sent out enforcer after enforcer to put him out of his misery. To varying results. All of them failures, save for Over the Limit, which DID feature a John Laurinaitis victory. Not that it put much of a dent in Cena’s momentum.
Big Johnny (as I’m sure Seka never called him during their relationship) waged his campaign silently. Cena was the unstoppable juggernaut and he was throwing everything he could at him, even hairy non-Japanese people. One of my more unfounded, but wholly comprehensible, conspiracies is that Mr. Skillful and Dangerous (as I’m sure NO ONE has ever called him in any situation) attempted to utilize Eve to a succubus effect on Cena and his plucky cohort Jason Todd. I mean Zack Ryder. Both of them died miserably, what’s the difference?
Hmm? Oh, Ryder is still alive? You say you knew that? I didn’t. He’s irrelevant.
With Laurinaitis’ departure there was a void left in the “Let’s Kill Cena!” leadership, but the movement never faded away; it kind of stayed around like an unpaid bill. Cena’s ambition towards the WWE Championship, as well as his failed love life with various women of Hispanic descent (and levels of mental stability), crowded his mind state and at the end of the day the Royal Rumble became his goal. All signs even point to him winning, which is a very reliable indicator as there is only one sign courtesy of unnecessary commentary by pro wrestling/sports entertainment commentators such as ourselves. We all “knew” Cena was going to win at Wrestlemania as well. We (most of us) were happily surprised at how wrong we were too.
People are clamoring for Rock and Cena Part 2 now, and the loudest person calling for this match, even without calling for it at all, is Cena. Yes, Cena. In an interesting inverse to Punk (more foreshadowing) Cena is still attempting to acquire a level of respect and prestige that he doesn’t feel he has. Personally I think it just comes across as greed at this point. Even the best of intentions can be disastrous, if the person doesn’t appreciate what they already have. The character of Felix Anthony is one of accepted opulence: the children love him and he keeps striving for an achievement he can’t possibly reach because it would be backtracking.
For better or worse, the Prototype is at a level of prestige even he can’t acknowledge. He’s a multiple time world champion, a Make-A-Wish maven, a money making jam boy, a platinum selling recording artist, a workaholic, loved my millions, the man responsible for more little boys considering homosexuality than any other man in the United States (citation needed), and at that point there is only one thing a person wants: more.
The hunger for more is a very real thing, and it’s not a fleeting disease like with that somewhat lyrical hip hop guy from New York who ran with half a dollar hanging out of his ass. John Cena can only aspire for more now as he’s at the peak of Mount Everest. He COULD go the Kurt Angle route, which was lazy at best, and say he’s going to the bottom of the mountain so he can rise to the summit again, but why? What does that prove? All it means is that Cena did the same thing twice. And at this point, he’s done is three times. Notice how a hat trick is considered the ultimate in a hockey or futbol game.
And what does Cena really want? “More” is a basic term. He wants more prestige. He wants more gold than a party hosted by Mr. T. and Trinidad James. He wants women (and I bet I had my hand around a Bella before he did). He wants the big screen and Hollywood lights. He’s a horrible hybrid of the two biggest stars of sports entertainment, Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and so long as they have a place in the mainstream Cena will want more. Again, he’s already at the tip of Everest, but like a European stuntman he seeks greater heights, like perhaps a moving platform that lets him free-fall from the atmosphere to the ground.
Long and short: John Cena wants to be the immortal face of sports entertainment and professional wrestling, and much like Ric Flair says you have the beat the man to be the man he knows he has to beats his only competition, or himself. And I don’t know, I just don’t get the notion that Cena is the kind of guy capable of beating himself. Too infused with steroids, you know? Very uncomfortable I hear. Anyway, like I said, his only “competition” is Dwayne Johnson (who lives the life of Cena’s aspirations) and Hulk Hogan (who lives the life of Cena’s worst nightmares). He doesn’t want to be the king of the mountain; he wants to sour above it.
And that ambition is greedy. Everybody wants to rule the world (says Tears for Fears) but humility is sacrificed every bit of the way, and the ideals of “hustling” for it fall by the wayside and get warped into greed. Greed. Greed.
That’s the word. When it comes to the Rock, you can argue that he sees in John Cena the same thing he sees in his past self, and the Rock, as a result, has two options: let that continue, or put the upstart down before he gets too uppity, or goes from a Red Sock to a Yankee as CM Punk said once before (I haven’t forgotten about Punk yet, don’t worry). Think of it like the plight of lions. See, when a mommy lioness and a daddy lion decide to get together and have little Simbas, Nalas are safe. Females are safe. But males are in trouble. The daddy lion may, in an effort to maintain power, kill and, in some cases, eat the male cub. Isn’t that special? The Rock is the latest enforcer in the quest to dethrone John Cena, by the establishment. However, The Rock has nothing to prove; he’s done his time, paid his dues and kicked plenty of ass along the way. He had his own Wrestlemania moment doing battle with the face of sports entertainment himself Hulk Hogan. He’s the one souring. That’s why he gets the pop he does at this point.
But Cena is hungry. He’s hungry with no right to be. In many ways he’s already surpassed the object of his greedy delusions. And it’s not hard to imagine how clouded your vision gets when your ambitions outweigh your common sense. Some of us call it writing about professional wrestling or sports entertainment. I’m enough of an ass to say a lot of you (i.e. – Smith, Smith, ADRIAN, Scooby-Doo) need to calm down, step back and realize that you’re not that great at what you do. I’m cocky and back it up with humor, wit, shameless attempts at flirting with beautiful celebrities and a keen appreciation for Joseph Ducreux. After all, I am DA Infamous DiZ, not just Infamous DiZ. So to all y’all trying to put your shit out:
So Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has the right to say: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Cena IS that higher rock, but he’s too blind to see. Blinded by the light, as it were. And personally I have a BIG problem with anyone who directly or indirectly insults the good name of Manfred Mann.
But that takes us to the other end of the scale. The Rock versus CM Punk. The man who is breaking in to fight the champion versus the champion who maintains the epic greatness of the late, great Rodney Dangerfield. That’s not even a full sentence and it spells out the perfection of their conflict.
Hmm, that’s not quite right. There is no perfection with this match or the concept, but there is validity and comprehension. CM Punk has come across as a savior of sorts, a messiah figure, who doesn’t seem to give the slightest damn about the people he’s leading to a promised land. I like to compare him to Moses as portrayed by Seth Macfarlane’s Family Guy. You know: apprehensive to lead his people to freedom, constantly complaining, likely the father of a number of illegitimate children with red-headed rock stars (we’re not finna talk about what I want to do to Christie Hemme (I apologize to Christie Hemme)), etc.
Punk plays the anti-hero, not the good guy or the bad guy, but the protagonist to an age old story, transcending history, and the world. A tale of soul and sword, eternally retold. He’s the greatest of all time, by many standards and according to a number of critics, but he still plays second fiddle to the likes of John Cena, Dwayne Johnson, and of course John Felix Anthony Cena.
Let me ask you, “you” being the reader: have you ever been better than someone, and KNOW that you’re better than them, but they achieve what you put your heart and soul into as opposed to you? The answer is “Yes” because all of us have gone through that. Some people feel it when they deal with work-related things. Some with relationships or the lack thereof. Some do it on forums or following articles or the like; commenters, they’re sometimes called. Granted, nine times out of ten a commenter doesn’t know shit.
I don’t know: it irks me from time to time. What does a number of comments mean when the piece or topic isn’t worth a damn to begin with? I don’t know; frankly I don’t want to know; it’s an answer I can do without. So please, miss me with the notion that a lot of comments means something. Granted, a comment might mean something if it, in and of itself, carries more weight than the piece it is a comment for. That’s logic talking.
See what I just did there? I spoke truth. Truth is what CM Punk is known for. He has two things going for him when he gets on the mic now: truth and opinions damn near impossible to argue with. That’s his appeal. He backs it up with tremendous in-ring performances and the occasional bit at the commentary table. I found it to be very nice that he was disappointed whenever the table was destroyed; he questioned whether or not he was at the Spanish announce table. He also joked (?) about not wearing pants during the third season of NXT, also known as the Divas edition. You and me both, Punk, you and me both.
By all (citation needed) accounts, CM Punk’s only logical competition as the best all-around character in the WWE is Daniel Bryan, and with that in mind you have to ask the question: WHY doesn’t he get the respect he deserves?
Well it depends. In terms of kayfabe: because it’s fuel. In terms of business: I don’t know. He won’t sell as much as Superman; Superman will always sell more than John Constantine does, but people can relate to a John Constantine more as they advance as opposed to an alien who, really, isn’t all that remarkable. Seriously, think about it. What makes Superman so special? He’s not on his home planet, that’s all. Otherwise he’d be another denizen of a destroyed planet, as opposed to the only one left, that they know of.
But that’s CM Punk’s character: striving for respect where he shouldn’t have to. Seeking to grab a gold ring he should already have a dozen times over. Where does the Rock come in to this equation? Simple: he’s another roadblock, another Cena. Punk has had to overcome opponent after opponent, match after match, clean or dirty, and at the end of the day, he gets nothing but hate. No respect. Dwayne Johnson comes back after doing movies only to, and to borrow a word from L.E.W.D. brother Corbin Macklin, abscond back to doing movies after doing a sequence in the WWE. And he already has a title shot. More than that, he has a title shot, period. I have to say: that’s that shit I don’t like.
What does the Rock mean for CM Punk? He means CM Punk has either:
- A title to lose to set up Once in a Lifetime, Part 2, or…
- A milestone to cross that Cena could not.
It seems like a simple fork in the road, but the possibilities are great, what with the Shield, Ryback, Brock Lesnar, Cody Rhodes and his debonair mustache, Damien Sandow and his intellectual greatness, a host of others and of course AJ “I make men cry when I wear actual pants” Lee. Did I mention Ziggler? No, I suppose I forgot. I’ll remember for the future.
At the end of the day, the Rock represents expectation. Anticipation. The standard. The Rock represents today what Hulk Hogan did during his run that culminated with a match with, not surprisingly, The Rock. It’s not really all that complicated, but it is interesting that the mental aspects of Punk and Cena have been playing out for as long as they have. The triangle between Punk, Cena and Dwayne Johnson MAY culminate in a triple threat match at Wrestlemania, but as I stated earlier – or should have if I didn’t – it wouldn’t mean much. Maintaining a feud for a year is hard work, and the feud between Rock and Cena had plenty of low points during the year it took to manifest the actual match, like further polluting New England’s nasty ass waters.
But what do I know? I just talk about stuff. What do YOU think? And by “What do YOU think?”, I mean what do you want to add to the conversation?