For Your Consideration Mr. Kennedy’s Money in the Bank Countdown

[Note: I wrote this before the news broke of Kennedy’s potential injury]

Welcome to my two month anniversary here at Inside Pulse. Time sure flies when you’re having a good time or when Khali is invading your main event. Before I get into anything, I would like to point out that I would have been the first person on the Pulse to state that Khali was going to be the next main eventer if it weren’t for the technical screw-up. Go ahead, look back at my predictions from Backlash in my column last week, I’ll wait. Being right about Khali in the main event is kinda like Al Gore being right about Global Warming; yeah, he saw it first, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s hotter than hell out.

So I’ve fully recovered from the ass-kicking dealt to the Heat and the Dolphins last week and am choosing to look at this as a positive. How, you ask? Denial. Plain and simple. D Wade wasn’t up to his full potential during the playoffs and I know next year he will “bring it” as the kids say. As for the Dolphins, maybe Teddy Boy will be the gamebreaker that people claim that he will be and maybe Brady Quinn will prove to be a bust and maybe Miami will win the Super Bowl. Okay, that probably won’t happen. Ah well, at least we’ll still beat the Bills.

I wish I could comment on Spider-Man 3 seeing as I’m a huge fan of the movies and read the comics when I was a kid (though, truth be told, I was a bigger X-Men fan) but I’m one of the three people in the world who haven’t seen this movie yet. I’ve had final exams for the past week with the last one going on as you read this (assuming you read this on Tuesdays as soon as it gets posted) and it’s very hard to leave the library even for a movie of this magnitude. The buzz has been that it’s about as entertaining as the CW show “Girlfriends”, but frankly it could be a two-hour test pattern and I’d give it the benefit of the doubt. To be a long-suffering comic book fan like myself means that you see any of the shit movies that come out and just be grateful that they even made one. I stopped reading comics in 2001 when I hit that “growing up” stage of life (which coincidentally was right around when Grant Morrison stepped in and f*cked up the X-Men something fierce), but ever since I was a kid, all I wanted was a kick-ass version of my favorite books on the big screen. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been jerked around for so long waiting for these movies that lowered my expectations, but I’m pretty pumped to see any Marvel flick they want to make. Well, anything except X-Men 3. They can go f*ck themselves after that one. Even WWE Films couldn’t f*ck up the Phoenix Saga. Alright, this concludes the obnoxious geek portion of the column.

Speaking of obnoxious, the Great Khali’s main event push has got me thinking logically, and that’s never good. I’m going to reiterate my point from last week and expand on it for a bit. This is the best opportunity for Vince to push Khali. The next big PPV is Judgment Day, which is a Smackdown show. Yes, I know these are now the “special, exciting, never-before-seen all three brands” PPV extravaganzas, but the WWE will still try to keep these as being more geared towards one brand with “guest stars”. With that being said, Judgment Day is going to be headlined by a Smackdown title match. With the Smackdown title scene up in the air, Judgment Day should be pretty interesting. If Taker’s really badly hurt to the point where he just cannot work then look for Vince to simply recycle last year’s Batista injury and insert the Undertaker as your champion in peril. Hell, the pieces are all set up. Hurt champion. Cage match. Returning Mark Henry. It’s like all the signs of the apocalypse lined up. You know my thoughts on Taker as champion. I’ve made those abundantly clear, and then there was a news article this week that CONFIRMED my complaint. Vince said he doesn’t want long, drawn-out Undertaker promos. I said last week that the problem with Undertaker as champion is that he cannot do these long promos or he loses his “mystique”, but on the other hand, you need a champion that can talk. Batista can talk, he can kinda get it done in the ring and when taken away from Undertaker can still pop the crowd. More on the Smackdown title situation coming up in the column. This is about Khali, damn it!

Putting Khali/Cena on Judgment Day means that the match could suck donkey balls and it still wouldn’t matter since people are ordering the show for the “Smackdown Main Event”. Undertaker’s injuries and Lashley’s injuries means that the Cena/Khali program is the only sure program on RAW. By putting that abomination at the top of the show, Michaels, Edge and Orton are free to be moved to the other brands if necessary for either special appearances or permanent moves. The WWE needs to give Khali a title shot to make him seem legit. He’s bigger then Andre, and if it’s true that the WWE is trying to be less salacious, then they need another hook besides foul language and risqué clothing on Divas. Khali’s size can be that hook. Jaded IWC members don’t care that Khali’s that big, but there are plenty of people who are still amazed by the whole, “Dang, he’s big” thing. Vince could use Khali to generate publicity again. Imagine Vince showing up on the Today show with Khali standing next to him. That’s a “moment”. Mainstream audiences would be legitimately impressed by the size of Khali. Khali as champion kills RAW for the time being, but it accomplishes Vince’s goal of continuing the potential goodwill that he thinks he generated from Wrestlemania. Khali’s the old-fashioned draw that Vince Sr. would have been all over. And, like I said last week, if Khali’s running rough-shot over the main eventers, the WWE’s going to need someone to step up and chop that f*cker down to size. And that someone’s quad should be healed up nicely by June.

Removing myself from the disaster scenario of RAW, I want to look at the disaster scenario of Smackdown. Specifically, I want to look at something that could be a major positive or a major negative, and that being:

For Your Consideration Mr. Kennedy’s Money in the Bank Countdown Countdown

Is it possible that the WWE is actually using solid, long-term booking as a technique to build storylines that will have an actual payoff? Ah, stupid, gullible wrestling fans, how easy you forget.

Mr. Kennedy’s countdown to cashing in his MITB briefcase is going to be something to behold. He has his own logo on the suitcase. He has his own graphic on screen and on dotcom every week now. He has the ability to flow from RAW to ECW to Smackdown with immunity whenever he pleases. He seems like he has a purpose and a focus and something to do. Unfortunately, he doesn’t.

The countdown is pretty obvious. The countdown allows the WWE to hype Wrestlemania 24 in May without seeming like it’s “too early”. This keeps Mania in the forefront for the rest of year. Every time Kennedy comes to the ring, the announcers can plug his title match. When is that match, you ask? Why it’s at Wrestlemania 24, live from Orlando Florida. And wow, how great was Wrestlemania 23, where Kennedy won the MITB? You know, that DVD is available now at your local store or on WWEshop.com. And tickets go on sale in just a few months. And it’s never too late to start saving up for the PPV if you can’t go. Get ready for this every week. Yes, the WWE shills all the time and they should absolutely be able to do that to make some money, but the Kennedy countdown gives them a license to drive Wrestlemania 24 into the ground way earlier than they ever could before. Kennedy’s title shot is a great ploy to keep the show in the foreground, but it’s a ploy nonetheless.

And what does this do for Mr. Kennedy? Despite the loathing that a lot of folks have for him, he’s going to be the next big “guy”. He can talk. He’s not an abomination in the ring. He’s got a good look. Most importantly, he’s got the support of Vince. Mr. Kennedy is going to main event Wrestlemania. Well, as of now he is. Vince is fickle and could change his mind any day. Kennedy’s also shown that he’s injury prone, with at least two major injuries sidelining him. His plusses are everyone compares him to Steve Austin and that he gets a reaction out of the fans.

The suitcase might mean that he’s bound for the main event slot at Wrestlemania, but last I checked, it’s May. Early May. That means that Mr. Kennedy is now in a permanent holding pattern. If creative gives him a title shot before Mania then it defeats the purpose of having the suitcase in the first place. The only possible thing that Kennedy could do between now and Wrestlemania is defend the suitcase. Who honestly believes that we won’t see a Kennedy versus (fill in the blank) for the MITB briefcase?

Even worse, this MITB deal means that Smackdown has lost yet another main event guy. With no Rey and no Booker, Smackdown was left with Batista, Undertaker, Finlay and Kennedy. Kane has been regaled to the midcard. Benoit’s tied up with the US Strap and MVP. Now, with Undertaker questionable, we’re left with Batista and Finlay. Oh yeah, and Mark Henry. You know what that means. Get ready for another summer of suck, starring Mark Henry. If Henry feuds with Batista for the gold, that means that at Summerslam they could do Rey/Henry as yet another “Rey overcomes the odds to beat yet another unstoppable foe”. When the WWE needed a go-to guy after Henry’s injury, they turned to Mr. Kennedy. He’s a great versatile guy like that. You can plug him into a title match and it doesn’t seem odd. Now, with the MITB logo around his neck, he’s persona-non-grata from the main event scene.

I’m all for long-term booking that gets us to a logical conclusion. I love when
they actually show that they are mapping out where we’re going and that this isn’t just being thrown together. I was glad that Kennedy said what he said and did what he did when I initially heard it. Now, after thinking about what this means for Smackdown and for Kennedy, it just doesn’t seem to have me as excited. This puts Kennedy on the bench. He’s now back-burner fodder. Whether people like it or not, Mr. Kennedy is a main event guy. He’s one of the few newly created main event guys, I might add. Yes, the WWE’s trying their hardest to make MVP a main event guy, but he’s still got many miles to go before that’ll happen. Lashley’s been a bust since the get-go with no signs of correcting itself any time soon. C.M. Punk came in with any buzz that he has and the WWE hasn’t really helped to amplify it. Kennedy seems to be the one that they kind of got right, and now he’s a walking ghost on Smackdown until at least January, when the rest of the company catches up to Mr. Kennedy’s Wrestlemania thrust.

This has been for your consideration.

Quick P.S.: I just wanted to say that I’m glad that ROH is going to finally be on television. Next week’s column will deal with the impact of their PPV deal on the wrestling world. Until then, I’ll count down the days until the PPV and how glad I am for once to have Dish Network.

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