For Your Consideration The WWE Fans Got Punked


Welcome to Week 24.

First, I want to thank all the great letters that led to last week’s column. I was flooded with tons of well-reasoned e-mails as people really took up the cause and ripped into TNA. Look, I will reiterate this again, I have no legitimate ill will towards TNA. It’s not like my hatred of WCW during the Monday Night Wars where I legitimately wanted to see them go under. I’m no longer a naïve teenager and I fully understand that having another viable option for wrestlers means more jobs for hardworking individuals. I totally get that. My problem is that I want such a safe-haven to exist for wrestlers, and if TNA keeps up with the shit that they are pulling, there won’t be a TNA for wrestlers to work at. Not having TNA would really damage the landscape of professional wrestling, and was going to be the theme of this week’s column. That all changed Sunday night (I’ll get to it in a minute).

A few other things from the world of pop culture. First, I want to again express my complete frustration with HBO in regards to “John from Cincinnati”. Now I did not like the show. In fact, I grew to hate it. However, I couldn’t stop watching. Something sucked me into this weird, f*cked up show and I just keep sticking with it hoping to find out what was going on. Was John an angel or was he an alien? How could Mitch float? Does Al Bundy really have a magical bird on par with a giant spaghetti monster? Do people really think Kai is attractive? (If I may, she resembles a young Marla Hooch) And I stuck with this thing until the season finale, hoping for SOME answers. Instead, I got more gibberish. The show was so convoluted and unresolved that it might as well have been written by Vince Russo. Then HBO cancels it. You can’t do this to me, HBO! I just want to know the answers! It’s like watching a bad movie and the projector cutting out with 2 minutes left (or it’s like the Sopranos finale take your pick).

Also, on Big Brother, my boy Eric’s still going strong. I’m throwing this out now, if he wins this thing and Pulse has a chance to interview him, I want to handle the responsibilities. Come on, he’s a Jew from New York and he used to work for the WWE?! How can you root against him? Plus, he might close the deal with Jessica, the hot blonde girl from the Midwest who was in Maxim and is a cheerleader. Gotta love reality TV.

On a final note, I just wanted to share with you why this week’s column might seem a little scattershot. On Saturday I was in a pretty serious car accident so I’m writing this now under some pretty heavy pain medication. I’m fine but my car’s totaled. I will say that I lucked out in this one. I was driving up a ramp on a highway in a rainstorm when my back tire blew out, I spun out of control and proceeded to play a human game of pinball with the barricades. Thankfully the barricades held up and I didn’t go careening off the side to what would have been a pretty long fall and thankfully no one hit my car. I am very lucky and grateful to be alive and currently pretty grateful for the magical powers of Codeine.

And it’s a good thing I’m on Codeine because I watched Summerslam. Live on PPV. Wow. The show was, in my humble (and doped up) opinion, a car wreck. That’s right folks, get ready for a little good old fashioned WWE ripping. I’ve been called by some a WWE apologist or a WWE propagandist, well I think the time has come for me to dig back into Stamford Connecticut’s proud child.

First, let’s start with the opening contest. Kane and Finlay? Look, I get the fact that the pyro for Kane is impressive and wakes the crowd up. But do you know what kills the crowd? Seeing Kane. The fans aren’t stupid. They know that Kane and Finlay are not going to suddenly rise to the level of main eventer, so why care about this match? The match itself was mainly inoffensive and had everyone’s favorite midget spots, but that probably shouldn’t be the opener of Summerslam. Why not open the show with Mysterio since he didn’t get a major billing anyway?

Umaga/Kennedy/Carlito was not good and the WWE realized that and turned Umaga heel again. Look, Creative, we all thought it was funny when the fans rooted Umaga on when he beat the shit out of Santino. Unfortunately, you mistook hatred for Santino as love for Umaga and almost ruined one of your finest heels. If Umaga had caught on and become a face then that would have been fine, but he didn’t. And don’t let Kennedy get pinned. Especially when you’ve got nice and useless Carlito in there.

Chavo/Rey was also a disappointment. First, the chrome paint on Mysterio looked terrible. It’s not going to cover up your roided out body, dude, so don’t go all Jeff Hardy on us. Even worse, the match wasn’t a great Rey/Chavo match. I don’t know if it was the blown spots or the odd pacing, but it just didn’t work for me. Even worse? I knew that this was going to be the end for Chavo and they didn’t even let him go down to the West Coast Pop, but rather the lame looking Dropping the Dime. Rey weighs like 82 pounds, how is that going to keep a man down? Poor Chavo.

The Diva battle royal was the scariest match of the night. Most of these women have minimal in-ring training and should NOT be in an over-the-top situation. I swear I thought Brooke died when she went over the top rope. And yay for Beth Phoenix for going over because it was so shocking and what the fans demanded. “Buzz, your girlfriend, woof.”

Hunter had a 10 minute entrance. Hunter squashed Booker. Hunter had a 10 minute exit. They over-hyped his return but at least he looked genuinely happy (though it started to feel way too forced towards the end). At least he didn’t blow out his quad doing all that posing.

Khali/Batista was the disaster that we all predicted. Nerve pinches, rest holds and sloppy transitions abound as the WWE decided to keep the crowd killer as the champion so that he hopefully will meet up with Rey. And we knew that Batista had little faith in the back, but no this little faith that the company would rather keep the title on a guy that can’t draw a straight line-let alone a crowd-then let Dave hold the title.

The main event was bothersome. The schmucks in the front rows (namely the guy with the mustache and yellow shirt who looked like a retarded version of the lead singer of the Killers) were distracting as hell for most of the night and by the main event I just couldn’t take them anymore. In fact, I couldn’t deal with a lot of the crowd. They were pretty silent for most of the night and yet came alive here? Why? Because it’s fun to rip Cena? That’s pretty played out, folks. It was funny about 2 years ago. Now? It’s just redundant. The WWE doesn’t care if you hate Cena, enough people like him to have him hold the belt. And the finish? Swerved the fans who were so sure that Orton was taking the gold. I said in the Roundtable that I though there was a chance they would wait until Unforgiven to pull the trigger, and it looks like I was right. The match itself was okay but nowhere near the level that JR was selling it at.

Oh yeah, there was one other match I forgot to talk about, which brings me to this week’s topic:

For Your Consideration The WWE Fans Got Punked

John Morrison beating CM Punk at Summerslam was the worst possible move at the worst possible time. In my first column, I wrote about how the WWE could potentially screw up CM Punk and that at the time the best way to handle it was to turn him heel. I said a heel CM Punk would protect him from horrible booking. Did the WWE listen? Nope. Instead they kept him a weak face and buried him. What could possibly be the reasons for doing this?

CM Punk is the epitome of what’s wrong with ECW. When the WWE got CM Punk, just like when they got ECW, the fans were skeptical but convinced that there was a way that it could be handled and be profitable. And much like ECW, the WWE screwed up CM Punk to the point where they are both unrecognizable. For whatever reason, Vince McMahon chose not to listen to the wisdom of Paul Heyman. Instead, Vince dictated to Paul that ECW was to be used as a vehicle to get over the Big Show and Bobby Lashley. Well Show’s gone from the company and Lashley’s off the show and on the shelf. ECW went from a show trying to appease SciFi with supernatural elements to a show that was trying to appease Vince’s big-man fetish to becoming a show that is now appealing to no one. The roster is talented but paper thin. Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von, Kevin Thorne, CM Punk and even Matt Stryker, Tommy Dreamer and Nunzio are talented and can get the job done. Unfortunately, the roster is miniscule and you are forced to see the same matches week-in and week-out. Now that worked for the old ECW because the matches we got were usually pretty entertaining. When was the last time a Viscera match entertained anyone?

John Morrison must be a rib. There must be some wacky joke somewhere that we’re not in on, like Dusty and Hayes had a bet as to which ridiculous guy they could get over as champ, Nitro or Khali. Either way, Morrison is the least credible of the three champs (and that’s saying something). In the Roundtable this title got compared to the European Title, and that’s a really sad concept. Morrison is just not a believable champion and it hurts an already weak brand. I, like everyone else, assumed that they were building up Morrison so that CM Punk could beat him and take the gold. I assumed that John Morrison was a necessary evil that we would suffer through until the time was right and Punk was anointed the new “man” of ECW.

When Punk continued to not get the job done, we just assumed that the WWE was saving it. Morrison kept bitching out and bitching out, but ultimately CM Punk was going to overcome the odds and get the title. And we all assumed that it would be at Summerslam in a classic match like Hart/Perfect, one that would live on and be remembered as a milestone. It was a nice thought at least.

As soon as I saw Morrison struggle to get his feet on the ropes, I knew all hope was lost. You can only kill a guy so many times before the fans are completely spend. CM Punk isn’t as over as the WWE would like to believe. They just assumed that they could keep jobbing him out but he would still be loved. The majority of fans don’t watch ROH and don’t know why they should care about Punk. It’s like RVD. ECW fans knew to love RVD but the majority of WWE fans didn’t get to see his classic matches and needed a reason to cheer for him. That’s why RVD fought Jeff Hardy. Punk, on the other hand, never got that classic introduction. He got video packaged in like the Bodydonnas and then fought Stevie Richards 400 times. Yes, his coming out match would have been against Benoit, but that’s water under the bridge. We know he and Burke can put on a hell of a show and it should have been them going at it at Summerslam.

John Morrison is WAY too sloppy to be allowed to try the shit that he does. Do the agents not watch ECW every week? Do they not see him missing top rope moves by MILES? Do they not remember that this was the guy who was previously main eventing Heat against Val Venis?

CM Punk was at the right moment on a major stage and should have won the f*cking belt. There is no logic that I will believe as to why he shouldn’t. ECW is heel heavy and has plenty of legit contenders. Having him win the belt at Unforgiven (where Orton will also win his belt) cheapens the title win. Besides, Summerslam didn’t have any titles change hands anyway! Either Vince wants to bury Punk or he’s finally lost it. I hope it’s the latter.

This has been for your consideration.