The Reality of Wrestling: RVD Cashing in His Shot
By Phil Clark & J.D. Speich
As of late, The E seems to be doing more things right when it comes to their overall product. One of these things is the hype for their second ECW One Night Stand PPV this June. As of this time last year the only thing certain about the ECW show was that it was going to happen in June. This year, we already know that Benoit/Malenko, RVD challenging for a world title are booked and Mick Foley & Terry Funk will be participating. The main selling point of this PPV will be Van Dam’s challenging of a world title, especially if it takes place in The Bingo Hall. This begs the question of whom will Van Dam challenge? We now know that JBL will be getting his second world title reign coming up due to Rey Mysterio needing surgery and that John Cena will more than likely be WWE champ going into June. Each opponent would be interestingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âespecially considering the venueÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âand each would definitely not be well received wherever The E chooses to run their ECW show this year.
P.C. Says: JBL would be the better opponent for RVD at One Night Stand II
I doubt there are many people anticipating JBL’s second world title reign, but this may prove to be the one time that JBL is able to draw money as a main-eventer. Going into last year’s ECW show, JBL was the most anti-ECW man on the entire WWE roster going so far as to stiff The Blue Meanie at the show to the point where Meanie needed stitches afterwards. JBL’s “shoot comments” easily fueled the fire as the crowd that night was particularly rabid towards JBL in particular. Now, fast forward to this year. What if JBL comes into the Hamerstein Ballroom or even The FUCKING BINGO HALL as world champion? You want guaranteed crowd heat, you’d have it with this match.
Also, who doesn’t want to see JBL lose a title match? Right after his title win last May, everyone wanted to see him drop the belt as soon as possible. Not because he was a great heel (that would happen later), but because nobody wants to see JBL as world champion. Even newcomers to the sport or fans of the sports entertainment aspect realize that even some standards have to be set regarding who gets the top belt in the promotion. In this case, nobody wants to see JBL of all people take the belt off of Rey, but it’s gonna happen. However, the odds of Van Dam not winning the belt (even with The E’s booking) is slim to none because it would kill the “money in the bank” gimmick, and my guess is that Vince will want that to be a yearly thing for Mania. So, if the title change does occur, I’m one for having Van Dam beat JBL because it would go over a lot better with the ECW crowd. Plus, Cena wouldn’t be able to create a good enough storyline going into the PPV; JBL would.
Finally, if SmackDown! needs one thing, it’s a dose of Mr. Money in the Bank. Yes, they have workers on that show, but it just doesn’t click the same way it does on RAW. Not only that, but around the time of the ECW show, Angle will still be out, Rey will still be out, and it’s still up in the air whether or not Batista or Ken Kennedy will be back. With all of those guys on the shelf, a change would be desperately needed. Enter RVD. Not only would Van Dam be able to break the glass ceiling of the WWE Main Event Style (if only for a month or two, if that), but he would definitely give people more incentive to buy SmackDown! PPV’s. Plus, who still doesn’t want to see RVD as world champion? Many smart marks or workrate fanatics still remember the circumstances behind the death of RVD’s push in 2002, so many would want to see RVD get his moment. Overall, I think if there was any time where a desperate measure (or at least a change) was needed, it’s now as SmackDown! has a lot to offer, but very little given to The E and the sport in general.
J.D. Says: Cena is, hands down, the best opponent for Another One Night Stand
With Another One Night Stand coming closer and closer we have to wonder what belt R.V.D. will cash his money in the bank title shot for. In my opinion there is only one choice, and that is the WWE Title on Raw. Although I have to agree with my partner’s logic as to why he thinks Van Dam and J.B.L. is the best route I strongly feel that the best opponent, and the better match, would be Van Dam vs. John Cena.
The main reason I have for R.V.D. staying on Raw instead of helping a devastated Smackdown main event roster is because with R.V.D. challenging for the WWE Title there are so many more options the WWE can go with. For one, when Cena defends his title at Another One Night Stand he will be considered a full-blown heel and as Joey Styles said, ” he will get booed out of the building.” With that said it is only inevitable that the E will have to turn Cena heel at the pay-per-view by way of him going crazy after he loses the belt to R.V.D. And when Cena loses and does turn heel it will set up for a very good feud between the two. This feud has to be WWE’s best bet because Cena will get a lot more crowd respect as a heel and R.V.D. as champ will equal ratings. This feud has the potential, and I’m not going out on a limb by saying this, to be at least six months long. I feel this way because after reviewing some old tapes of the last couple of years it has been brought to my attention that, for one reason or another, Cena seems to wrestle a lot better as heel and seems a lot more motivated, thus pushing his stock in WWE even farther. If Cena can pull off even close to what The Rock did as champion he will get a lot of support from the fans when he gets the belt back later this year. So my first point of R.V.D. challenging for the Raw title was more aimed at how it will help Cena, but the rest is all R.V.D.
R.V.D. needs to challenge for the Raw title because it could also set up a potential feud between R.V.D. and Edge, and who honestly doesn’t want to see that? Right now it would be great to see Edge and R.V.D. because they seem like they would mesh well together and it has the possibility for a match of the year candidate. WWE would be stupid to not consider this feud since Edge was getting ratings as champion and we all know R.V.D. is going to equal ratings. And the only reason I’m looking at these feuds as money makers is because it seems like that’s the only thing the WWE cares about now a days. So if WWE wants to get their ratings up and for once think of the fans, then I think this feud is a must.
When R.V.D. gets the WWE Title he will have, most likely, two belts around his waist, the Intercontinental Title and the WWE Title. This brings the possibility of a R.V.D. Vs. Carlito feud. I bring this feud up because the WWE still hasn’t followed up on this feud ever since the started it about this time last year when R.V.D. was cutting promos and Carlito decided to beat up an injured R.V.D. I’m not saying that Carlito will be challenging for the WWE Title because, in my opinion, I think it’s to soon to let Carlito challenge for the big title, but since R.V.D. has the I.C. belt I do see the possibility of R.V.D. dropping the title to Carlito which would then push Carlito even further. Although this feud is highly unlikely it would still be awesome to watch and the idea of this feud just adds to the plethora of ways the WWE can use R.V.D.
This brings me to my last feud idea for R.V.D. when he wins the WWE Title. That feud being HHH Vs. R.V.D. This feud, aside from Cena Vs. R.V.D., seems to be the most likely considering it might be the only way the WWE can keep HHH as a heel cutting promos on how ECW is a nothing brand and R.V.D. is a nothing champion. If they go this route I really wouldn’t mind because HHH and R.V.D. have put on some decent matches over the years and this feud would be filled with crowd anticipation on how it would turn out.
Overall all of these feuds are just some speculation on my part, but this is why R.V.D. needs to win the WWE Title. If he wins the WWE Title and stays on Raw there will be a number of options for who the WWE will want R.V.D. to feud with and all possibilities have a bunch of upside with little downside to them.
The Reality is…it’s all up in the air right now. As of this weekend, The E said that they were going to go with Cena/RVD at One Night Stand II, but it’s not like The E has never changed plans before a big show. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what happened at Wrestlemania when Vince was reported to have switched the results of FIVE matches the night before the show. That seems to be the best example of what is going on in the creative department these days: nobody knows what’s going on and Vince doesn’t seem to care what everyone else is thinking. The difference is, there is a possible avalanche of opportunitites creatively and qualitatively considering the people still on the roster. In the cases of guys like Rey, Angle, and Batista, the injuries may help them with fresh programs when they get back. However, during The E’s downward spiral from late 2001 to the present, they never really lost the possibilities of great feuds with great people, they just never used these people to the fullest extent they could. Hopefully, things will change, but please don’t bank on that.
After a day of downloading and viewing, Dave Ditch’s Ditch Wrestling will be a permanent plug on this column.
This week’s “FUCK YOU!” goes to:
This past weekend at a K-1/Hero’s MMA show in Las Vegas, Brock Lesnar made the announcement that he will be participating in MMA in the near future. Welcome to career suicide, especially in Japan. Brock did say that he would stick to the U.S. for his MMA bookings, but that might make matters worse. Listen Brock, no wrestler has ever made a decnt go at MMA after they were established as a wrestler; the word established should let you know why. In Japan, no wrestler has ever gained anything from participating in MMA; it ruined Yuji Nagata’s career, did nothing for Shinsuke Nakamura’s career, and completely pissed away any lineage or importance the IWGP Title once had. All I can do is pray that Brock doesn’t get manhandled the same way Nagata did or Brock’s career (in any field) could be over very soon. Also, isn’t it ironic that Lesnar/Fujita as a shootfight would most likely draw a ton more than Lesnar/Fujita as a wrestling match? Just something to think about.