Kue’s Korner: Chemistry 101: Promos and WM28 (WWE, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, John Cena, The Rock, The Undertaker, Triple H, Santino Marella)

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Chemistry 101: Promos and ‘Mania 28

Promo skills are an asset in the world of pro wrestling. This much is an understatement. What can make or break a good feud, however, is the chemistry between two performers. The last few episodes of Raw saw the three biggest confrontations for this year’s ‘Mania culminating through various promos, and they spoke volumes of the chemistry between each pair of adversaries.

Cena/Rock – For two of the most talented mic guys in this fake sport, it’s bewildering how horrible their chemistry is. This has been made far more evident after the feud between Cena and Punk, where the back and forth was executed perfectly. Like most fans, I was anticipating more face to face exchanges between these two. But after watching that awkward exchange from last night, I prefer the individual promos more. These guys have the presentation part of the debate down, but need to work on their rebuttals. And honestly, with only weeks left until ‘Mania, it’s a moot point. It’s lucky they have the draw that they do, because they definitely would not have sold the PPV on their joint promos.

Trips/Taker – Perfect example of how experience can shape a feud. Taker and Trips have feuded over a dozen times, and their first promo was far from polished (more along the lines of one guy yelling angrily before the other guy slapping his hand around his throat). These two have built their chemistry to what it is today, and it’s gotten to the point that their silent promos has just as much impact as when they actually speak. Even during their verbal promos, the subtle nuances they’ve developed give much more depth to their exchanges. It’s due to this that their interactions have resonated with fans.

Jericho/Punk – I realize most of us have been highly anticipating the mic work for this build up, but last night’s opening promo between these two exemplified a kind of instantaneous chemistry that I believe exceeded even the most anxious fan’s expectations. The cliché would have had Jericho holding the belt, being the arrogant heel that only he can be, with the wiseass Punk chasing. But Punk being champ has created a great dynamic. Jericho still carries that same arrogance, but he’s now a guy with a chip on his shoulder, burdened with frustration on why a “copycat” is top dog. Punk, however, can add to that smarmy charm that has defined his recent anti-hero quality, by supporting that label of “best wrestler in the world” with the gold around his waist.

The back and forth from last night, though, brought an element we haven’t seen in a long time from an in-ring promo. Each man tried to best each other’s last statement, culminating in Punk ‘s last mic-dropping statement of being the best. Such a simple formula, but carried to such an exceptional level by these two. I’m very much looking forward to more exchanges in this feud.

Round the Bend

CB’s World: Booking in pro wrestling nowadays is so short-term, it’s no wonder a year ago seems like a lifetime. That’s why this piece by the honorable CB is so appropriate. It’s no secret that ‘Mania 27 is considered a black sheep in the history of ‘Manias. Give it a closer analysis and it’s obvious that it was basically a way to set up this year’s event. CB reflects on his thoughts on last year’s event both from last year and his perspective now. When it comes to a general consensus of fans, CB hits pretty close to home.

Interactivity, Kyle’s Files and The Stomping Ground: This potential Santino Marella main event push has been making its rounds through the site. Kyle Fitta has stated that Marella as the next champ is what the fans want, and demands that ‘E enacts his title match as soon as ‘Mania. Our modest Mike Gojira seems to think this is an outlandish prediction, saying comedy acts have their place, and it’s not at the top of the card. The esteemed Mr. Douglas seems to think it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Santino holding the belt someday soon, though I believe his outlook on this is a grim one. I would have argued against this fact a few months ago. But two things make me think this is more than feasible.

One, mentioned by Blair, is the fact that a comedy act can very quickly change into a bit of a serious personality. We’ve seen this through Sexual Chocolate. We’ve even seen it through Mick Foley’s Mankind gimmick. Think about it. The fucker’s finisher was a sock puppet in the mouth which they explained with a lousy “nerve hold” excuse. What’s so far-fetched about saying the Cobra hits a pressure point that paralyzes?

The second opportunity-maker would be, quite frankly, the devaluing of the World Championship on SmackDown. If anyone still thinks that title is anything above a second-tier title, please stop reading my column and go update your “I Fondly Remember When Swagger was Champion” blog. I’d prefer my fanbase to be a little less delusional. Daniel Bryan holding the title would have added a boost of credibility to it…..if he wasn’t being booked like Christian. And if Ryder can hold the US belt via Twitter petition, it would not be a stretch for Santino to sport the top belt on ECW. I mean, Smackdown.

Other stuff from the Pulse staff:

A very interesting read on WWE and its somewhat-nepotism in Ralph Hardin’s The Common Denominator.

Catch up on some of Pulse Glazer’s thoughts concerning the feud of the year: Brown vs. Punk (no, that’s not a Great Khali reference) in Wednesday Morning Backlash

James Carter steals my alliteration gimmick, but has a good read about the “ethics” of WWE in My Pinterest is Piledrivers.

Wish Joel Leonard a happy one year on Pulse by checking out his article on No Chance.

And Martin Shaw deals a dose of reality about WWE’s new reality show on The Martyrshow.

Kue’s Klosing

The ‘Mania card is finally shaping up. Now, here’s a wrench thrown into that hopeful little anticipation of yours. Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes.


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