Sept. 15, 2013
Joe Lewis Arena
Ok. I’m just going to jump right in on this because we’re doing things a little differently this month. I’m one of those guys. You’ve seen us before, hell you might even be one of us. We’re wrestling fans. And I’m not talking the backyard wrestling or independent wrestling organizations. I’m talking about WWF…er.. WWE. We grew up during the “Attitude Era.” We watched two rival promotions go to war and put on some of the most interesting, unique, creative, and sometimes outrageous shows ever produced. We didn’t suspend disbelief; we didn’t need to. The product was so much fun to watch, at times, we didn’t want the clock to strike 10 minutes after 11:00 on Monday nights. We were so engrossed in the McMahon/Austin feud, Undertaker’s unholy darkness, the rise of stars like The Rock or groups like D-Generation X that we didn’t need social media to keep the story going. It was, by many indications, one of the popular times in wrestling history.
How does that pertain to this preview for the annual Night of Champions PPV event? The WWE is being dominated by a single storyline, the dictatorial reign of Triple H over the company. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with the idea. A tyrannical executive conspires with a top superstar to make him Champion while screwing the superstar who won the WWE Championship at the 2nd biggest event of the year. Hell, it worked for Vince McMahon at Survivor Series in 1998 & several times after. Should work now, right? Well, no actually. The problem is in the execution, and I mean that a couple ways.
First, I have no problem with the Triple H heel turn. It was pretty obvious it was coming, and it played well. Jaws dropped, people were pissed, money feud. Except, Triple H still thinks he’s the reason people pay for a seat, and he’s not. Or at least, he shouldn’t be. The idea of Randy Orton--the new WWE Champion--being nothing more than a puppet for Triple H, who nearly emasculated the Champion when he called the Title his (Triple H’s) “personal property” and that Orton is merely holding it for him, is confusing and ridiculous. Second, how can you make money burying the entire roster? I’m not saying that a mass walkout is in order (though that’s how we got Triple H off tv the last time). But to have the entire locker room stand on stage as top babyface Daniel Bryan is constantly beaten in the main event segment is stupefying. I find it hard to believe that the threat of being fired is enough to stop 40 superstars from joining forces to stop The Shield & Orton. What’s Triple H going to do, fire the whole damn roster? That makes absolutely no sense! All it does is make all of the faces look weak, timid, & pathetic. Essentially, Triple H accomplished in 3 weeks what it took him the entirety of his career to do… bury anyone who can draw money.
Take a look at Big Show & Dolph Ziggler. 6 months ago, Ziggler was in line for a huge push as the Money in the Bank winner. He won the World Title, suffered a concussion, was sidelined for a month, lost the Title and was left in a state of wrestling purgatory with no storyline (I guess Creative has nothing for him). 6 months ago, Big Show had an “ironclad contract,” which allowed him to wreak havoc on the entire roster. Now we are expected to believe that his contract can be voided if he doesn’t do as he’s told? So Triple H essentially has a slave for the purposes of the storyline? Actually, better make that an indentured servant. He is, afterall, getting paid. Which brings me to the whole “woe is me” Big Show isn’t fiscally responsible part of this. We’re expected to believe a giant, who likely has a lot of medical bills due in part to that fact, doesn’t have enough common sense to put some of his paycheck in the bank, or under his mattress, or bury it in the backyard??? So, is he stupid (for storyline purposes)? I hope you’re starting to see a pattern here.
But the big reason why I’m so tired of this Triple H storyline is simple. Who is the babyface who will stop him? The entire McMahon Family has turned heel, so there’s no one above them to keep them in check. Why is this important? Think back to the McMahon/Austin feud. No matter how bad it got, you knew there was either CEO Linda McMahon, the Commissioner, or the Board of Directors to help right the ship and give the Austin a fair shot at either the Title or Mr. McMahon himself. In our current HHH runs roughshod and no one can say a damn thing angle (wish this thing had a simple name), there’s no one above The McMahons. So there’s no one to make sure Daniel Bryan doesn’t get screwed by Triple H at Night of Champions. There’s no reason to expect Bryan to win the Title this Sunday because the storyline won’t allow it. Sure, Bryan can win the match by DQ or count out, but the Title won’t change hands. So what’s the point in having the match?
Almost done with my rant. On a personal note, I read a quote from Triple H on Raw this past Monday (I didn’t watch it), and I am puzzled by it. It said something along the lines of “The Rated R Superstar didn’t draw a dime.” I keep things pretty even keel here but you know what, Fuck You Triple H! How much money did you draw as Champion when Steve Austin was injured? Or how about during the McMahon-Helmsley Era? But also, what purpose does that serve? Saying someone “didn’t draw a dime” is an insult to every fan who picks their guy and says “I’m with him.” By that logic, CM Punk “didn’t draw a dime” during his Title run, because ratings remained stagnant (a problem that started during Triple H’s many runs with Championships he didn’t need or deserve) & PPV buyrates slipped. Here’s some friendly advice to Triple H as he prepares to legitimately takeover the reigns of the company, shut up. Let your new stars emerge and quit burying guys with talent! Daniel Bryan is over with fans. Telling those same fans they’re rooting for a B+ doesn’t make them rally behind the superstar, it tells them you think they’re unintelligent. WWE fans are some of the most intelligent fans in any form of entertainment. Don’t insult our intelligence.
Thanks for bearing with me on that. It’s been boiling for a week now, and I had to just put it out there. If you agree, great; if you don’t, fine. Tell me why. I’m very curious how others feel about this storyline. Let’s take a look back at last month before we get to a condensed version this month.
Paul- @PaulHcle- 2 for 8 (ouch)
Victor- @weenusenvy- 4 for 8
Kick-Off Show- #1 Contenders’ Match- Tag Team Championship- Tag Team Turmoil:
The Usos, 3MB, Prime Time Players, The Real Americans, & Tons of Funk
My Pick- Prime Time Players win. (Millions of Dollars)
Victor’s Pick- The Usos win. (Us…O!)
Tag Team Championship:
The Shield (c) vs. Tag Team Turmoil Winner
Our Pick- The Shield retains. (Believe)
Divas Championship- Fatal 4 Way:
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella vs. Natalya vs. Naomi
AJ’s “pipe-bombshell” promo was a great example of why she should not lose the Title. She’s the only diva on the roster who can bring any credibility to the Butterfly Title.
My Pick- AJ Lee retains.
Victor’s Pick- Natalya wins (Because I wouldn’t give him The Field on the cast of “Total Divas)
World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
Our Pick- RVD wins (Because we are sick of the “Black Hole of Charisma” Del Rio)
Handicap Elimination Match:
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman
If you’re ordering this PPV to see Punk finally get his hands on Heyman, save your money. Maybe at Survivor Series, but not here. In fact, I see Heyman getting the pinfall victory on Punk, with outside help.
My Pick- Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman win.
Victor’s Pick- CM Punk wins.
Randy Orton (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
My Pick- Randy Orton retains.
Victor’s Pick- Daniel Bryan wins.
Before I end this I’d like to offer my congratulations to my co-conspirator on this monthly entry. My best friend, Victor will be marrying his beautiful impending wife (or “I dub” as he calls her). Of course, he’s getting married on Friday the 13th. Who else would do that? Anyway, I just want to say congratulations to them both and I hope my toast at the wedding is as eloquent as my words on this blog are (I wonder how many people rolled their eyes reading that.)
Thanks for reading. I’ve done all the damage I can do this time around.
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