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Are You Happy Now? (I’m Not.)

I have made no secret that, though I like Daniel Bryan, I do not think he is a TOP guy. Top five, sure. I do not think Bryan is the main event. High midcard, yeah. In the old days, he’d hold the IC title forever but get few shots at Hogan or whoever. But, here we sit today, and Michael Cole said “Daniel Bryan is the face of WWE!” I REALLY want that expression to go away. Enjoy it marks, it won’t last long.

I’ve also gone on record as saying “Daniel Bryan is a guy who’s going to win around 10 world championships… and he might have around a year as champion total with those reigns.” I’d argue Bryan only fought HHH because Punk left, and only won the belt A) because Punk left, and WWE (read: HHH) wanted to send the “this would have been you” message and B) Because Brock Lesnar ended the streak.

Before I get back to talking about how I was wrong but I’m still right about Daniel Bryan, let me talk about how mad I am I was wrong that Lesnar beat Taker. I was laying on my girlfriend’s tit, licking and sucking her pierced nipple when the three count happened. I’ll never forget the stunned silence. My girl asked “What happened?” I sat up, incredulous. Laughing out of sheer amazement. Seeing how so many faces looked exactly like mine. Michael Cole said “The Streak is over” with a mixture of disbelief and surprise. They sold the shit out of that moment, so much so I am prone to believe The Nic Johnson was right last night when he said that Taker made the call to put Lesnar over on the spot. Again. I’ll never forget the last day of just sitting around doing random things then thinking: “Yoooooooo… The Streak is over!”

I’m not mad Brock won as a part-timer. I’ll only be mad if he loses a match in the next year plus and doesn’t get a title reign. Since they let him end the streak, they need to get everything they can out of him before he leaves again. Same for Batista, who I think WILL get the straps soon. Maybe even tonight. The Nic Johnson was peeved that there was no mention of Bryan’s title win on WWE.com. I had to remind him .com is a kayfabe site. The owners of the company and HHH do not want Bryan as champion, and I expect every second of him being champion to be fraught with peril.

I’m surprised Bryan won simply because of how strongly he is booked. Only Cena wins as much, as cleanly as Bryan does. They’re booking Bryan like he’s Stone Cold. I’ve been on record as saying Bryan is no Stone Cold. Only thing they got in common is popularity and the machine raging against them. It wouldn’t surprise me if all of a sudden Bryan starts dropping matches on TV on par with how non-Cena stars are booked. Because part of the reason marks hate Cena… is that Cena so soundly, resoundingly beats their favorite workers. If Bryan is a dominant champion, then that means he’s gonna keep beating Orton and Batista, Cena, Wyatt, Roman Reigns, et al. Marks will start to feel like he’s being forced down our throats.

That’s inevitable in this day and age of wrasslin. You’re lucky if you can hold the belt for a year now and the fans aren’t tired of you. There can be no Hulk Hogan or Bruno Sammartino title reigns now. If Bryan held the belt for 3-8 years his own friends and family would resent his monkey ass. Which is why all his title reigns are going to be short and sweet. Bryan can’t be the sympathetic figure held down by the man if he’s always holding the gold and winning all the time, right?

Which brings me to my last point: How can a man who won two matches in one night with one arm against Evolution… ever be considered an underdog again?

The Streak is Over! (And It KINDA Works…)

Let’s get this out of the way first: this guy is GOLD…

ImageGive this man a contract. I don’t care what he does: just give him a WWE contract and get the rights to THAT face. Because it sums up virtually every feeling that went through the completely hushed crowd of 75,000 plus fans. For ten seconds I was even somewhat with them, but more so because I was shocked at how silent it was. The three count went down, and it was so quiet that I wasn’t even sure that the match was over. My first words were:

Followed by:

Safe to say that few people saw the Undertaker’s infamous Streak coming to an end last night, but what’s done is done.  There will be eternal (hyperbole) debates between people over how it happened and who ended it, and many people have already “sworn off” the WWE because they feel like they lost their childhood or something, but the Streak is over, and frankly… it kind of works.

My opinion isn’t going to be the popular opinion, and I’m okay with that.  This won’t even be a very long post, because despite how okay I am with the result I still have plenty of gripes.  At the end of the day though:

The Streak itself, barring any outside story or logic, was finite.  I came to terms with this a few years back, seeing how wobbly Calloway was following a match with Triple H.  Was it kayfabe?  Probably, but the mythos we were given was always that the Undertaker was infallible.  He was defeatable, but not by anyone short of another god, and when they came to HIS turf, he was the closest thing we humans could see to true, dark divinity.  All the same, he’s human.  I say all this now because one of the early complaints was that “UnderTAKer cant looose!!  Hes the Undertakaer and this is Wrestemaina!”  Yes, it is, and after twenty plus Mania’s he has lost, somewhat poetically to the man he originally wanted to end the Streak years back.

So from a nostalgic point of view, I dig it.  I like how it played out, honest.  Brock Lesnar is one of the few people in history that I can realistically have seen defeat the Streak and actually take up that very spot left unoccupied by the new vortex.  That isn’t story so much as conclusion, however.  While not undefeated at Mania himself, Brock Lesnar is a monster of a human being (or a human being of a monster, I forget which) and he represents another version of the frightening mystique that the Undertaker brought to his role as the protector of the Holy Grail, so to speak.  The Undertaker’s undefeated reign mattered because he’s a boogeyman.  He comes across as nearly impossible to topple, and COMPLETELY impossible – but more likely for years now – to unhinge at home.  The WWE has never been shy of creating real monster characters, but even they stepped to the Phenom and fell at his feet.  Think about it: Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy, Diesel, Kane, Triple H, Big Show, A-Train, Mark Henry, Batista, they all have a big, intimidating presence that was ultimately left humbled by a man whose very character embodies death.

There are few reasons Lesnar’s win makes sense though, the biggest of which being his status in the company.  He’s a part-timer, no matter how his contract plays out.  Plenty of people are saying he should be around full-time now, as some kind of solace to those who are literally threatening self-harm after how things played out (it’s still real to us, yes, but it’s TOO real to y’all… dammit) but that would imply that the Undertaker was going out there every PPV or taking on somebody more than once a year, if that.  It’s easy to forget that the Undertaker was in several Wrestlemanias, not ALL of them.  He’s an old(er) man, he can’t keep this up, and retiring would have come a long time ago if the Streak was meant to be maintained.

Undertaker might very well be signed full-time to the company, but his appearances are far from that.  Enter Lesnar, who is part-time, maintains a very impressive physique, and to date, even in his losses, he’s managed to SEVERELY beat his opponents senseless.  Let’s not forget the applause worthy ass whupping he put on John Cena during Extreme Rules following Wrestlemania 28.  And how he destroyed Triple H.  And how the World’s Strongest Man proved to be one of the world’s most bull-headed when he went to challenge Brock Lesnar THRICE and got murdered each time Solomon Grundy style.  It’s very easy to put Lesnar into the role of the resident undefeatable monster like the dog from The Sandlot.  Even when he loses he scares (read: beats) you crapless, and that realization puts him in a position where a Three 6 Mafia theme song, or an impromptu theme by Pharoahe Monch and Buckshot, works more wonders for him than anyone else.

And at this point, where the goal in the WWE might be to put the younger talent to carry the banner, having one monster be the man who took the Streak and flipped it into a Curse that needs to be broken (thank Ashley Morris for that one), the new big dog (or Cerberus if you want to be fancy) could be the once-a-year Lesnar.

Of course, we also have to remember that a few years back Undertaker expressed how he wanted Lesnar to end the Streak then.  It would have been good then, and there’s an argument that can be made that he would have been that had it taken place then, Lesnar WOULD be the Undertaker right now.  Not in terms of persona but in terms of prestige.

But at the end of the day, there’s the concept of story.  Nic Johnson, L.E.W.D. brother, pro wrestling aficionado and bon vivant, expressed distaste at the way the story played out.  I throw my hands up here, he has a point, the story going into last night’s storied match lacked… story.  What could have been a compelling quest for vengeance from Paul Heyman played out as a rushed fight between a man with no reason to wrestle and Brock Lesnar.  The way I saw it, the set-up could have been perfect IF the match was about Heyman’s pain in the form of a six foot monster who votes Republican.  It could have been perfect if the match was about Heyman again lamenting his “fallen son” CM Punk (sidenote: if you were wondering on his whereabouts last night, he was actually at a Blackhawks game) and how the WWE universe chased him away, and how the Undertaker embodied the pinnacle of that universe.

But no.  No, it was about… I don’t know.  Much like last year with CM Punk’s duel with Taker, the set-up was a question of chance – and fortunate (story wise) – circumstance, but they played it well last year.  Had CM Punk defeated the Undertaker last year, in a match that I’m led to believe he didn’t even want, the story would have been this: the Undertaker could not avenge the memory of Paul Bearer or honor his memory in combat.  The set-up was perfect for an Undertaker victory WITH the promise of an awesome showing by Punk; it was set to show us that it could have gone “either way” but in fact it was set in stone.

Besides that, Punk wouldn’t have been a viable person to inherit the Streak.  What many fail to accept is that whoever ends the Streak inherits the Streak, and they make it their own.  Lesnar now has the Streak, and it’s more valuable than any title.  Heyman will be on fire tonight, Lesnar will be smug, and frankly it makes more sense than a lot of people want to admit.  So please, stop being butthurt over it, and if you MUST be butthurt, at LEAST be as amusing at homeboy in the opening picture.

If anything, this is my greatest gripe with the match (aside from having little emotional content):

The crowd DIED after it, and it was a shame that the Divas match had to follow it.  They didn’t even get an intro, at a PAY PER VIEW I might add, and it was all so the crowd could recover:

And that’s to say nothing about the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.  The crowd was slow to get into it.  Thank God they did though, because despite the sorrow 99% of people felt at the end of the Dead Man’s Streak, there was nothing but triumph with the moment of seeing Chris Benoit Daniel Bryan standing victorious after winning the title after a hard fought battle.  If you want to really be suspicious, tell me why it isn’t the top story on WWE.com.  Or rather, why it isn’t even a STORY up there.

Stop And Go

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.

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