Today’s Episode: Heartbreakers
Sorry about the delay.
This is the second installment (in a series of, well, two) of my little fit of fantasy booking, as a few storylines have arrived in WWE that have taken a small nibble at my interest. Last week I looked at the prospect of what could be with the “second generation stable” that may or may not be happening in WWE at the moment. This week, I take a shot at a storyline that, to meet the ideas that I have come up with, will require a bit more of suspension of disbelief. However, itâ€™s FAR from impossible, and would, I think be more interesting than the stumbling half-measures that the fed has currently taken.
2) Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (and friends)
Something that WWE has done right is simply putting these two guys at odds, because theyâ€™re both awesome and, like chocolate and peanut better, are even better together. Jerichoâ€™s angry heelishness towards Michaels is beautiful in its truth, as he grows increasingly disenchanted with a crowd that cheers his enemy despite the villainy that he occasionally sprinkles into his matches. At the same time, Jericho being angry at the fans still works to make him a heel, as itâ€™s as if heâ€™s angry at the â€œbattered wives,â€ so to speak, that the audience as become; even though Shawn might lie to us, weâ€™ve been together so long, and we love him. If he were treating us as brainwashed victims, thatâ€™s one thing, but his anger at us simply due to our love paints him as a putz instead of a hero.
However, WWE came close to making something great, but hasnâ€™t gone full bore with it. Former Shawn Michaels trainee Lance Cade, big, young, talented and Texan, has turned his back on the teacher and joined the enemy. Itâ€™s great that theyâ€™re giving Cade a shot at something bigger, as Iâ€™ve always been a fan of the guy, and he really has all the tools to be something special.
But, as all of we smart wrasslinâ€™ fans know, there are a few other Michaels trainees in the company, and hereâ€™s how Iâ€™d bring them in.
This Sunday, Michaels wrestles Jericho, and after some spectacular action, Cade sees his boss losing, and, while Jericho distracts the ref, Cade comes in and gives Michaels that uranage bomb that heâ€™s been using. In a perfect world, that should give Jericho the pin, as it would immediately establish Cadeâ€™s finisher as something that can put away the best the company has. However, if they would rather have Michaels go over somehow, thatâ€™s fine with me. The real fun happens when Jericho or Cade lays Michaels out, and they each go for chairs to pummel the future hall-of-famer. Then, a newly reunited Paul London and Brian Kendrick run down and put themselves in between Michaels and Jericho and Cade (Jerichade?), with Kendrick positioning himself exactly between the factions and London on the top turnbuckle doing a sort of â€œrecon,â€ ready to dropkick anyone that goes near their mentor. We have a standoffâ€¦until Kendrick grabs Michaels head and hits Sliced Break #2, then quickly pulling him back for a Paul London 450 Splash. Michaels is decimated, and Jericho has just grabbed the last two men that Shawn has trained.
And hey, if WWE wants to put in Brian Kendrickâ€™s new big black bodyguard, thatâ€™s fine, too. Iâ€™m flexible.
The next night on Raw, Jericho brings out his squad, and Kendrick and London get a chance to mouth off about how Michaels gave them NO help entering this business, and once they were in WWE, they had no choice but to struggle on their own, being stuck at the bottom of the card despite putting on awesome matches every single week, while Shawn simply hung out with Hunter and made dick jokes. There can be a real sense of bitterness here, as their connection was never even acknowledged on television before Jericho talked about Cadeâ€™s experience with the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy.
However, Jericho takes the mic back (once the boys have gotten their angst off their chest, naturally), and looks right at the camera. â€œBut you know, Shawnâ€¦Iâ€™m not done yetâ€¦Iâ€™m not done taking your legacy away from you. You and I both knowâ€¦thereâ€™s one more. See you real soon.â€ And with that, he drops the mic, and he and the kids exit. Michaels will not appear on Raw this week.
The next week, the audience will be treated to little bits of dialogue between Jericho and his gang about how sure he is that heâ€™s doing the right thing. At one point, Michaels enters their locker room, holding up his hands in truce, as he did not come to fight. Instead, he simply begs Jericho not to do this, and that it would simply be a terrible, terrible thing to do. However, Jericho makes it plainly clear how bad he wants to hurt him, and that heâ€™s going to have fun taking total control over the legacy of Shawn Michaels. With that, he kicks him out of the room, telling him to get out before he and the boys kick the crap out of him.
On a Raw three weeks from that original big promo, Jericho and the Heartbreakers (something heâ€™ll NEVER call themâ€¦perhaps â€œTeam Jerichoâ€ or something simple like that) come down to the ring, and Jericho talks about how he has completed his collection, how he has released all of Shawnâ€™s pupils from the yoke of his selfishness. Thus, he announces the final member of Team Jericho.
Of course, it is â€œThe American Dragon,â€ Bryan Danielson. It would obviously be best to do this in MSG or some other stadium in the tri-state area, who are most likely to know who Bryan Danielson is, so that the television audience can hear people cheering the man as a big deal. Danielson walks down the ramp like the most determined man in the history of the universe, wearing a red and black boxing robe with a hood, hardly showing his face at all. Jericho runs down his awesomeness, and how it was all too easy to get Danielson into WWE when Michaels never would.
This brings out Michaels, with microphone, who meets a smarmy, smirking Jericho in the ring. Jericho speaks, â€œWow, Shawnâ€¦itâ€™s really nice to have you out here, as you can now see how everyone youâ€™ve ever taught, all of these young, hungry guys who know everything that you knowâ€¦theyâ€™ve turned their backs on you, Shawn. Iâ€™ve given these guys something that you never could, or never did: a bit of hope, a bit of possibility, a bit of help, you selfish bastar-â€œ
Michaels injerjects, â€œYouâ€¦idiot!â€ Michaels is confused, but still smarmy as usual. â€œDo you have any idea what youâ€™ve done? Do you?! You really think I ignored this guy, let him â€˜wallowâ€™ in obscurity? Like you said, heâ€™s wrestled and DOMINATED all over the world, in every federation heâ€™s ever been a part ofâ€¦do you really think I forgot about him? Why, of the four guys that Iâ€™ve trained, would I only bring in three? Do you have ANY idea what youâ€™ve done.â€
There is silence.
Danielson has not moved since entering the ring. He has only stared ahead at Jericho and Michaels. Michaels continues. â€œDamn you, Chris. You have no idea what youâ€™ve brought into WWE. You have no ideaâ€¦â€
Danielson grabs Jericho from behind and dragon suplexes him into oblivion. London tries to hit him, but he catches him with a sharp elbow to the shoulder and a kick to the head. Kendrick eats a tiger suplex, and when Cade tackles him, heâ€™s taken down with a drop toehold, and before he even knows whatâ€™s happening, heâ€™s trapped in the Cattle Mutilation, screaming like heâ€™s been set on fire. Danielson gets up, looks at Michaels with eyes full of intensity, and Michaels leaves quickly, almost out of respect, almost out of fear. Danielson looks around the arena, surrounded by carnage.
The American Dragon has been set loose on the WWE. God help us all.
Tags: Bryan Danielson, jericho, Lance Cade, michaels