Note: This column was written before The CM Punk episode of Art of Wrestling was released. Reactions to that will be in a future No Chance Column
It’s safe to assume that everyone saw Survivor Series right? And everyone is falling over themselves thrilled at Survivor Series, especially the last hour right? I have to say that I’m quite pleased with everything that WWE has give us this past week, and to top it all off, this all happened the week I was planning to revive this column in my little corner of the internet. So where do we possibly begin to discuss what WWE has given us in the past few days? Where oh where?
I’m kidding, of course we have to talk about Sting first. However, I honestly don’t have a ton to say about Sting’s debut. I mean it’s awesome and amazing, and I will remember it for probably the rest of my life, but to be perfectly honest Sting was never my favorite. Having always been a WWF kid over a WCW one, Sting was never the most relevant guy to me. I knew who he was, but I don’t have fond memories of growing up and cheering for the Stinger. There are other people out there that can give you deeper more emotional responses to seeing Sting on WWE programing than I ever can, and I recommend you take a few minutes of your day to find columns or message board posts that talk about just that.
I will say this though. Even knowing that it was going to happen at some point, even knowing that Sting was in the video game and that Sting had a contract with WWE and knowing that at some point between now and WrestleMania 31, Sting would come out, there was nothing that could have really prepared me for seeing Sting in a WWE ring for the first time. This wasn’t like Hogan’s return or Rock’s return because I always felt that at the end of the day, when the money was right, and the timing was right, and the right movie needed promoting, they would find their way back to WWE. The closest thing that I can liken that moment too is seeing Bret Hart return for the first time since Montreal. It was just something that wasn’t going to happen. You supposed to have a never say never mentality when it comes to wrestling, but Bret Hart was never returning and Sing was never going to appear on WWE television. Except Bret Hart came back. And Sting appeared on Sunday. It’s the kind of moment why I keep coming back. When John Cena is facing Big Show and Johnny Ace in back to back PPV Main Events. When they announce that The host of the Today show will have a Raw segment. All that is for those once every few years moments like the one that happened on Sunday.
But I have to take time and make mention of Dolph Ziggler and what he was able to accomplish this past Sunday. See, it could have gone the other way. Big Show could have punched out Ziggler, leaving Cena to be one man against three. There is an alternate universe out there where that happened. So next time you’re wishing you lived in the universe where jetpacks would have been invented by now, be glad that you at least don’t live in the one where Big Show punched out Ziggler last Sunday.
Because the same 3 vs. 1 scenario becomes drastically different when Dolph is the last man standing instead of Cena. One is the history of past Cena matches, because in kayfabe, Cena is near mythic god status now. The overwhelming amount of shenanigans that have to take place for Cena to lose a match, especially a PPV main event match are almost laughable at this point. Had that been Cena out there as the last man standing it would have simply been a waiting game to see what outside interference there would have been. But with Dolph, Dolph who has proven himself so many times just to get knocked back down to the midcard, Dolph is a guy who they would just out and out pin. Especially after the abuse that he took during that match. So ever kickout was a breath holding nearfall, all eleven of them. And to highlight the true difference between the characters I would like to compare Ziggler when the bell rang this Sunday to Cena when the bell rang at Extreme Rules 2012. (Honestly any Cena match will do here but this is one of the most in your face examples of this Cena problem so that’s why it got picked.) At the end of the match Ziggler was down for the count. Ziggler was disoriented, in and out of conscious and confused to his surroundings. Ziggler probably wasn’t even aware that Sting had made his debut while he was lying there (in kayfabe of course.) Cena on the other hand, in 2012 had just suffered a bout with the biggest monster to ever walk through the WWE on his return match. Cena had suffered his bloodiest match since his “I Quit” match with JBL in an era where blood matches were now a no-no. And what did Cena do at the end of the match? He got a mic, he had a chat with the crowd and walked away from the ring on his own power because at the end of the day really nothing can hurt Cena that bad right? When it comes right down to it the thing is Cena doesn’t always seem to realized that the act isn’t over when the bell rings, the act is over when you are out of sight from the crowd and cameras. But not Ziggler.
This column could go on for quite a while while I simply gush praises on Ziggler his ring ability, his work in the match on Sunday and really just his performance in general but that would just be talking in circles at this point. The thing is that this man deserves to hold the WWE title at some point in his career. He has proven that many times over, but never more so than this week. And while I’m hesitant to jump on the “This is the Ziggler push we’ve been waiting for” train again, because of how often I’ve been burned taking that ride, I can’t help but hope the vision of Ziggler holding that title aloft is going to come true sooner rather than later.
Tags: Dolph Ziggler, john cena, Raw, Sting, survivor series, WWE