Hey folks, it’s me again. I’m back to do my second annual Wrestlemania countdown. It’ll only be 5 days rather than 10 this year though, for two reasons. First of all, if I did a full 10 I’d have had to start writing them right after the Iron Fist recaps and DEAR F**KING GODDESS NO, my brain desperately needed recovery time after that dreck. Secondly, there just… isn’t as much to talk about this year and I’m not sure if I’ll even get a full 5 columns out of the mess. The booking this year has been almost across the board crap, including sticking the match most likely to steal the show on the pre-show. So here’s my rundown of this year’s countdown;
- Today (Day 5) – (see the article title above).
- Thursday (Day 4) – The Gutting of NXT
- Friday (Day 3) – The Travesty of The Hall of Fame
- Saturday (Day 2) – When Taker Drinks the Kool-Aid
- Sunday (Day 1, Mania Day) – Where We Need to Go From Here
- Monday (Bonus Day) – My review of Mania, Takeover and the HoF events themselves, and looking ahead to Raw
Alright, so let’s get this ball rolling.
So here we have what is perhaps tied only with Reigns/Taker as the stupidest, least looked forward to match on the card. (I’d say it tied with Goldberg/Lesnar as well, but as much as us smarks know it will suck ass and we don’t want to see it, the casual fans actually DO want it). According to some generally reliable sources like Dave Meltzer and Wrestletalk News, a lot of people backstage openly told Vince this match was a stupidly bad idea. NO ONE wanted this match. Casual fans weren’t calling for it, smarks didn’t want it, and if reports are true, even Vince’s usual gang of yes men didn’t want it. Hell, Cena worked a teeny tiny shoot into a live promo and admitted even HE didn’t want it. Cena wanted Taker at Mania. But Taker wanted Reigns, because he’s buying what Vince is selling and apparently wants to pass the torch and finally actually retire, given that he needs hip surgery as badly as Foley does.
So apparently with Taker off the table for Cena this match was Vince’s best idea. Which is further proof Vince needs to step down but that’s a whole ‘nother article. The point is that no one wanted or cared about this match. Strangely enough though, after the past few weeks, there is actually a lot of legit interest in and excitement for this match. How in the hell did that happen?
Because of one Mike Mizanen.
For the past two thirds of a year Miz has been busting his ass and doing some of the best work of his career. After years of shitty booking and stalled pushes and being reduced to a comedy act on TV while still working harder than even Cena as an ambassador for the company. Miz off TV is a likable approachable guy who sells the WWE all over the world in interviews and promotional appearances, and on WWE TV has been a consistent smarmy heel and, especially on Talking Smack, has been doing incredible mic work. And since the build for this unwanted match began, he has done some of the single best promo work of his life. He has almost singlehandedly sold this whole insipid angle.
My problem with it now though is that, despite his hard work, the angle is still being sold wrong. On any other TV show or movie, Miz and Maryse would be the heroes. Pretty much everything they’ve been saying has an uncomfortably high grain of truth to it. I mean, we all know that a good chunk of stuff seen on Total Divas is staged or edited or exaggerated, but not all of it. If even a little of what we see is who these people really are, then Cena really is a manipulative, kind of douchey control freak leading Nikki on, and Nikki really is kind of a vapid shallow social climber willing to give up the things she truly wants, (marriage and children), to advance her career. And a lot of folks, from anonymous insiders to former employees have gone on record saying that really is who they are. So Miz has been cutting some really good worked-shoot promos which have almost on their own sold this match. Cena on the other hand, has been shitting all over Miz’ hard work, completely ignoring the Foley Promo Rule; don’t completely bury your opponent like he’s worthless or no one has any reason to care if you beat him. And all Cena has done is utterly bury Miz and shit on him. If Miz weren’t giving us such utter gold right now, Cena could have singlehandedly tanked all the interest in this match Miz has earned.
Cena and Nikki have been, full stop, acting like complete and total douchebags through this build-up. They’ve been textbook bullies. If this were, say, an NBC drama and not the Wacky World of SPORTZ N-TRR-TAIN’MIN!!!, they would undeniably be the villains. They’re the head cheerleader and the Quarterback shitting on the drama club kids for pointing out their shitty behavior. So how the hell are Miz and Maryse the bad guys in this scenario? Almost everything they’ve been saying is at least partly the truth, and everything Cena and Nikki have done in response has only proven them right. Hell the live audiences have been cheering Miz and Maryse. Last night on Smackdown the final segment of their “Total Bella Bullsh*t” video got a goddamned standing ovation.
Miz is more creative than Cena. He’s more adaptable than Cena. He’s a better actor and wrestler than Cena. Miz will be whatever the company asks him to be and do what they ask him to do. Cena is as stale as he’s ever been and losing interest in the product. Because that’s one thing Miz called Cena out for that we all know IS 100% true; Cena IS a goddamned hypocrite for going Hollywood now after giving the Rock such shit for it a few years ago. Which is all the more frustrating because Cena was dead RIGHT when he said it about the Rock, but now acts like he’s not doing the exact same thing.
If Cena is even 10% the class act he claims to be, if he truly respects the business, he’ll do the job on Sunday before he leaves to make more movies. Rock jobbed to Goldberg before he left. Cena and Nikki getting the win when both of them are taking indefinite time off, (or retiring in Nikki’s case if the rumours are true), then what purpose does it serve to have the full-timers who will still be here on tuesday job at Mania? I know I’m not the only one who was hoping Miz wouuld have just snapped last night and beat the pulp out of Cena.
Except we all know how Vince thinks when it comes to booking. He almost never listens to or cares what the audience wants, and he will book it his way come hell or high water. And since Vince himself is a bully, then in his mind Cena is the good guy and the good guy has to go over at Mania.
See you tomorrow folks.
Tags: A Penny For Your Thoughts Wrestlemania Countdown, John Cena, Maryse, Nikki Bella, The Miz