The People’s Column: The Error of “Breaking Point”

In two weeks the WWE will present their latest Pay Per View spectacular; Breaking Point.  This is another in a recent line up of concept Pay Per Views.  The concept for this show is that all of the main event matches will be some sort of  submission-style bout.

This idea seems very interesting.  Jim Ross said on Smackdown this past week that this Pay Per View is a new and innovative concept.  It is being promoted as the first event of its type and should be a reasonably well executed card, with a few Summerslam rematches.

The error in the “Breaking Point” experiment becomes evident when one looks what are currently the only submission matches signed and the top three matches on the card.  They are: Undertaker vs CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship and D-Generation X vs The Legacy.

All three of these matches are submission-based matches.  The big question and probable error is that the WWE has conditioned it’s audience to believe that the good guys do not quit.  This means that The Undertaker, John Cena and DX have been represented as people who do not tap out no matter how bad the pain.

As an example, take The Undertaker.  JR himself has said that he has never seen him quit in his career.  Undertaker has yet to tap out in a WWE ring and after 20 years they will not have him start in a one-off match at an off-brand Pay Per View.  So what is to be done? Do they instantly invalidate any and all credibility that CM Punk built over the past three months in his feud with Jeff Hardy in order to uphold Undertaker’s un-submissive streak?

For a further example, there is John Cena.  He said it best on Raw this week when he said “I will not quit!”  In fact he said it about ten times during his promo.  Sadly he is in the only match where a competitor has to say the words “I quit” to win.  While Randy Orton will not necessarily be hurt in taking the loss, it does seem like a for-gone conclusion that John Cena cannot quit.

D-Generation X is also in a tough spot.  They are up against a tag team that rarely uses submission moves aside from a rear-chinlock and a headlock.  They must fight them in a submissions count anywhere match.  The Legacy may actually be able to walk into the match as crowd favorites though, as in Montreal DX is still considered to be the great satan for their part in the Montreal Screwjob some 12 years ago.  This being said, my money in on HBK winning the match with the Sharpshooter.

Now there is one ending that may be used in one of the two world championship matches.  That is the good-guy passing out, in the way Steve Austin did at Wrestlemania 13.  This ending preserves the integrity of the man who will not quit (either Undertaker or John Cena) while at the same time costing them the match.  This ending should not be used in both situations, as the repetitiveness would be boring, but it could (and should) be used in the Smackdown main event.

If CM Punk cheats (perhaps with a steal chair) to knock The Undertaker out and then proceeds to put a submission move on him, both men would save face and the program would continue as more than a one-off.

This is merely a theory.  It is an idea in the endless abyss of wrestling ideas.  Please leave any ideas you may have about the all-submission style Pay Per View in the comments section below and I’ll see you next week.