Welcome back to CB’s World. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an actual column in these parts, mainly because I’ve had so much fun interviewing you, the readers, with my Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse series. I still have many more folks I’d like to cast a spotlight on with that regularly recurring feature, but I just had put that on the shelf this week due to the major developments that occurred in WWE the past couple of weeks while I was away.
As I approach my 10-year anniversary in the IWC this December (stay tuned for some special commentary when the time comes), I can’t remember the last time that WWE has played so many different cards over the course of the past year and a half to “shake things up”.
It started in June 2010 with the infamous Nexus debut, carried into November 2010 with the Miz-Lawler TLC match that led to the super-heel Michael Cole saga that went all the way through to WrestleMania 27 in April 2011, transitioned into CM Punk vs. The World that climaxed at Money In The Bank in July 2011, and then culminated with Vince McMahon’s firing, Triple H’s hiring, and now, the WWE roster’s uprising in October 2011.
It’s funny how we laugh at TNA for all of the power struggles that go on down in Orlando, yet WWE has spent the past year and a half saying that they are trying to “create new stars” and “change the culture” when the only thing that has remained consistent is that with all of this shaking up, creating new stars and changing the culture has been very hard if not impossible to achieve.
The burning question today, right now, is this:
Will the Walkout of 2011 mean anything in the long run, or will the eventual payoff be unworthy of our emotional investment?
During the course of my Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse interviews, nearly every single person I spoke with said that what’s missing in wrestling today is that sense of emotional resonance that we’ve all had at one point or another as fans of pro wrestling. And, as I commented during one of Blair’s columns this week, does any of us over the age of 18 actually see TODAY as the high point of pro wrestling? And if not, why is that the case?
The simple answer from where I stand is that the entire pro wrestling industry has rendered wins and losses essentially meaningless at all levels, and instead of people fighting for titles because the titles themselves are what they truly want more than anything, there is ALWAYS a personal grudge tied to why one person wants to take the title away from the other person.
Big Show doesn’t want to win the World Heavyweight Championship because he is trying to climb back after years of not being on top. Instead, he wants the Big Gold Belt because he’s mad at Mark Henry. That’s fine, but shouldn’t Big Show also talk about craving that championship one more time in addition to the personal stuff?
Alberto Del Rio and Kurt Angle like to hold their respective titles in WWE and TNA simply because those titles come with backstage power and influence. Del Rio likes that he can influence others to walk out, and Angle just wants to make Dixie Carter suffer.
Now, I will say there are some people in wrestling that do give me hope. Robert Roode’s title quest has been the most refreshing thing to see in pro wrestling in 2011, ESPECIALLY the pre-taped video packages that TNA has aired recently that show how hard Roode has worked and how far he’s come to get to this point of being right on the doorstep of his first heavyweight championship.
I also enjoyed the run-up to Mark Henry’s title win, and the reason Henry is so over as a heel right now (regardless of what others on here thing) is because he worked 15 years to get here, so it actually seems like he CARES about holding onto this title for a long, long time.
Two other people that give me hope are Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Cody bringing back the OLD SCHOOL Intercontinental Championship is a stroke of genius that brings back both history and memories. Meanwhile, Dolph has really taken to making sure to tell us his U.S. Championship means something, even though he’s lacked an impressive set of matches to go along with his bravado.
You might notice that one name missing from the above discussion is CM Punk. I loved every single second of what Punk did leading up to Money in the Bank, but since then he’s been so insanely lost in the shuffle because WWE decided to make him part of this ultra-confusing and convoluted power struggle that put him in a talking war with Kevin Nash, an awkward and rushed face vs. face match with Triple H, and then made him the third wheel in the Del Rio – Cena showdown at Hell In A Cell.
The worst part about all of this is when I take a close look at CM Punk now, I see that the only thing he got out of his red-hot run was an Ice Cream Bars T-Shirt and a modest contribution to Zack Ryder’s push.
And if that’s all we get/got as the entire payoff to the CM Punk saga, what can we possibly expect to get out of this walkout?
Let’s look at the possibilities:
John Cena to the rescue? SUPER CENA RULEZ!
Johnny Ace / Stephanie / Shane as New COO or Anonymous GM? Fun.
Vince McMahon back in power? Great.
Miz and R-Truth rehired? Someone’s gonna GET GOT!
HHH (and maybe HBK/DX) vs. the World? Suck it!
A reformation of the NWO? For life!
Forgive me for being skeptical at this point, but after the past year and a half of shakeups without payoffs, can you really blame me?
Tell me what YOU think in the comments section below, and we’ll discuss…
That’s all from me — CB.
Tags: big show, CB's World, cm punk, Jerry Lawler, john cena, Johnny Ace, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, miz, nexus, nWo, Raw, Robert Roode, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, TNA, TNA Heavywieght Championship, triple h, vince mcmahon, World Heavyweight Championship, wwe championship