Interinactivity: 09.28.2012 – John Cena, CM Punk & The Rock (Part 2)

Welcome back to Interinactivity – management is very pleased with our work.

This week, we continue and conclude our talk from last week on the current main event picture in WWE. We’ll start with some feedback from Night Of Champions… featuring the return of FD Swayze!

FD Swayze: Did you all miss me? I didn’t think so. I watched WWE’s last PPV, the Champions thing, and sometime afterwards looked at the Inside Pulse coverage written by a gentlemen under the name of PK. I thought he did a terrific job with the report. Mostly I just wanted to get the opinions of a few of the fans who also saw it.

I enjoyed the show. Most of the comments seemed to suggest that you InsidePulse wrestling fans also enjoyed the show. But what I saw and what they saw seem like two entirely different things. I’ve been arguing with Blair about stupid wrestling stuff recently that neither of us really take seriously. It’s not the first time. But when Blair and I argue, I at least know where his argument is coming from. With some wrestling fans, I don’t know where they are coming from or how they even got there. It’s like they are watching a completely different show.

So I figured I could do part 2 of this INTERINACTIVITY thing and discuss the Champions PPV. Maybe if I explained what I saw, and you see that, and I see what you saw, we can all start seeing one thing or something and it will be like some kind of weird, trippy, out of body experience type of moment. You’ll love it!

 

Flaming Wombat: The main event was definitely better than Money in the Bank from a pure in-ring standpoint. MitB had the heat and the angle, but was actually (upon a re-watch) a pretty sloppy, disjointed match. I’d say it was the best use of a draw/Dusty finish that I’ve seen in a while, and am unashamed to say that I totally bought the false title change. Good main event to a decent PPV.

Boss Swayze: Was Money In The Bank the match where Cena lost to Punk that Blair pretends didn’t happen? If so, I thought they were both about the same except for the endings. All Cena matches are the same. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

The first Cena-Punk match is very overrated. It was considered the best match of last year. That’s nonsense. The ending was the best match of last year. The match itself was Cena forgetting which leg of his was supposed to be hurt, then realizing it doesn’t matter anyway because he’s going to start doing leg drops off the top rope.

This match was Cena going for that powerbomb/fist drop combo three times because he has not one creative bone in his entire body, and then doing laps around the ring giving high fives to his pink hat lady fans after a match that up until then I foolishly thought was actually tough on him. Well the joke is on me. Apparently Cena was just playing with Punk this entire time. He’s playing with all of us. He can win these matches whenever. Not one move Punk did, or anyone has done, has ever had any effect on him. So the entire match was some kind of weird joke he was playing on us mortals I guess.

The ending was horrible. I was trying to explain this to Blair, but I don’t think he was getting me. While Blair didn’t seem to exactly like the ending, it didn’t seem surprising to him. As if a fan shouldn’t be disappointed because that’s exactly what the fan should have expected by now.

That’s just stupid.

If WWE was doing it’s typical thing, then Cena would have won the match. If Cena had won the match, especially that match, then there wouldn’t be a problem. While it would obviously upset some fans that Punk lost, Cena did step aside for almost a year so Punk could be the star of the show. And anyone who actually watches the show knows that. So I wouldn’t have been upset if he got his title back in a hard fought match. The titles don’t mean that much these days anyway. It wasn’t like CM Punk was going to disappear off the show if he lost.

Also, if CM Punk had won that match, how could it have possibly hurt John Cena? Were Cena’s fans going to abandon him for losing one match!?! It wasn’t like Cena was dominated. It would have been a match neither man needed to be ashamed of losing. They both worked really hard to get it to a point where neither man needed to be embarassed to lose the match. I think that is why Flamingwombat, and probably many fans, enjoyed that match. The fans appreciate the wrestlers hard work.

Does WWE appreciate the hard work though? Of course not. They tried to have their cake and eat it too. They want to keep the title on Punk, but they don’t want to have Punk beat Cena again. Well, you can’t have it both ways. Screw you WWE. You can’t. And WWE tries to do this cutesy Disney crap where everyone gets to be a winner. Night Of Everyone Wins! That attitude is ruining this entire country.

Furthermore, you didn’t ‘buy’ the false title change. You weren’t fooled. That’s not fooling anyone. The show said Cena won. The referee said Cena won. Then out of nowhere he changed his mind. That’s just you watching the show. I was fooled when Cena was covering Punk after hitting one of his big moves. I was sure Cena was going to win but Punk kicked out. They were trying to fool me, and it worked. They call them ‘false finishes’. The entire point of it is to fool me into thinking one person is going to win, but they don’t.

That ending wasn’t to fool you. It was to make everyone happy in happy land where everyone is nice and nobody is mean and everyone is a winner and the Teletubbies are the Mayor! Sorry, but fans have the right to be upset by that finish. And they have the right to be even more upset by John Kissass Cena coming out the next night acting upset about the finish when he’s the lucky prick they do this stupid crap for!

But yeah, I still basically agree with this guy. I’d say a decent main event to a good PPV, but we are at least on the same page. Is Flamingwombat wrong or something? No, of course not. First of all, he’s just a fan saying he enjoyed the show. I enjoyed the show. Second of all, he wasn’t exactly typing out his memoirs. It was just a quick comment on a pro wrestling column. So parts where it seems like we differ in opinion and whatnot, keep in mind I’ve had more time to type this out. Mostly, I just think it’s interesting how I look at wrestling in a completely different way than most fans do. And Blair is probably the same way, which might be why many of you argue with him all the time.

I read what some of the fans say about these wrestlers and these shows and use terms like ‘workrate’ and ‘improving in-ring’ and other phrases that, no offense, but I don’t think you really understand what they mean. And honestly, it’s not important at all to understand what they mean. Most of them are outdated now and don’t apply anymore anyway. For instance, do you think anyone really cares about being ‘the main event’ or last match anymore? If you were a pro wrestler, would you rather be seen on prime time TV on a Monday at 9 PM or 11:05 PM? You have to look at the bigger picture.

Again, I liked the show and I like what WWE is doing with this John Cena and CM Punk storyline. Except maybe the ladies match, which I didn’t watch so I can’t really comment on, I thought all the matches were good. Flamingwombat mentioned the standout ones already. I thought the fourway match with Mysterio and Sin Cara was cool, because instead of doing Disney crap, Sin Cara and Mysterio beat each other up. And after the match they were cool. And not ONE fan was confused. The Antonio Whatever guy was cool. That uppercut he did to Ryder looked insane. I liked the Kane and Daniel Bryan stuff.

This John Cena and CM Punk thing I think is fun to watch right now. Orton was his villian, and that worked, but eventually they moved Orton into being a crowd favorite. They had Batista against him, and he left. The Nexus thing was a flop. Del Rio vs Cena didn’t really get people that excited. The Rock thing is cool, but he can only be there a few times a year. This Punk thing though is perfect. John Cena fans hate CM Punk. CM Punk fans hate John Cena. And right now it’s about 50-50. You can pretend all you want that one guy is getting cheered more than the other, but look in that crowd and really listen. It’s 50-50. And to me, that makes for a great crowd atmosphere. I also just think it’s cool a fan has a choice. For a long time it’s just been the John Cena show. That’s no fun, right?

Blair: My thoughts on most of this are covered in other responses below. No need to double up. Thanks to my man Swayze for participating this week – and everyone DID miss you, whether they want to admit it or not. And if they didn’t, they probably like Shaemus or Miz or something.

 

Mike Gojira: To me, that was the best match CM Punk and Cena have had together….blew the roof off of Chicago and LA last year. The dubious Draw ending? I get why it was done, but a Draw is always a shitty way to end a PPV.

Blair: I ONLY saw the Punk / Cena match, and I thought it was good. Punk is one of the few people who can pull decent matches out of Cena. Definitely better than either SummerSlam match, although it fell a bit short of last year’s MITB match for me. Very close though.

As for the screwball finish…

 

Jonah Kue: Great main event, and one of the rare occasions where a draw was the best scenario. The drama was great. What really hit well was the way the draw happened. It was a unique circumstance. Kudos to Cena and Punk. The two have good chemistry.

Blair: Exactly. It’s just another step in trying to get Cena cheered and Punk booed.

 

Limodriver: What a terrible match. A guy kicking out of his opponent’s finisher followed by a minute of stunned disbelief at having his finisher kicked out, repeated ad mauseum, is a boring tedious way to end a match. It was plodding, then it was boring, then it had a Dusty Finish draw. Anyone who paid to watch that is a sucker.

Blair: That’s a bit harsh. Although, while I don’t have your distaste for the near-end of the match, I will say that they hit their finishers WAY too many times for my liking – especially since that’s one of the things that people make fun of Ring Of Honor for. Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with a lot of near-falls, nothing at all – but it’s tougher to pull off if both guys don’t have more of a varied moveset than most WWE wrestlers. The problem with doing near-falls in WWE is, usually there’s only one or two moves per match that anyone believes will actually put the other guy down.So they just hit their same moves repeatedly for a little while.

This is a VERY minor complaint for me though, overall I thought the match was quite good – and what kind of made up for AA-GTS-fest 2012, for me, was how they switched into using different moves AFTER all of that (Rock Bottom, German Suplex, moonsault, etc). There were also the several occasions where Cena somewhat no-sold offense at random, but that’s nothing new. It’s annoying – to me anyway, but I think we’re all used to it at this point.

 

Rivas: if tonight didn’t prove that this whole CM Punk heel turn is not working, I don’t know what will. I mean, Cena was in his hometown, he was wearing pink gear in support of a cure for breast cancer, he’s facing Punk who is wearing Yankees colors, and it was STILL split down the middle. Even after Punk took him out with the belt, everyone who wasn’t a woman, child, or Cena relative gave their approval. I’d have rather had this match without the turn and let the fans choose which good guy they like best, instead of turning Punk into a one-note character(RESPECT!) and trying to FORCE the audience to choose Cena.

Blair: I said in the comments last week that while I’m not surprised by the Punk heel turn, I still think they missed out on something big by not having Punk just be Punk without doing the same tired heel schtick that’s been done to death over the years. Let the fans decide who to cheer. That’s not an opinion I’d have normally, but I also genuinely don’t believe that people want to boo Punk. He’s too good. It’s the same thing with Bryan from earlier this year – he was stealing wins, cheating, and verbally abusing his girlfriend, and he got cheered over Shaemus. Punk is stealing wins, cheating, beating up commentators, attacking stroke-victim retirees and walking out on matches, and he gets equal to or greater crowd support than Cena… in Cena’s hometown.

Remember though – WWE doesn’t care if Cena is getting a “split” reaction. He’s been getting that split reaction for YEARS and they haven’t switched it up. Cena has trouble getting crowd support against guys like Truth, Ziggler and Kane, when they’re heels. Against a babyface Punk last year, Cena got murdered by the lack of crowd support. But to WWE, that’s not a sign that they shouldn’t have turned Punk heel – that’s WHY they turned him heel. A split reaction? We know just from looking at history that they can live with that. But they don’t want their main attraction getting booed out of every building against a babyface CM Punk – think of the merchandising dollars alone that they’d be leaving on the table.

More below.

 

James Alsop: if it happens, who do you think will win Rock vs Cena II? Part of me thinks we might finally see Rock “pass the torch”, but (as you might remember) I predicted that last year and it didn’t quite pan out…! And at any rate, it wouldn’t be “passing the torch” so much as “giving Cena a win back”. Part of me also thinks that Punk will be the fall guy if Cena vs Rock is turned into a triple threat… I can definitely see that happening.

Blair: Ah Christ. You mean we might be getting another one of these? The last one went fine. Why would they feel the need to do it again? I don’t know – I figured when they brought Brock in for a year, that Cena or Rock would face him at ‘Mania, and maybe the other one would fight Punk, Undertaker or Triple H. As we all know though, plans change about a quadrillion times between now and then, so I have no idea what they’re thinking at this point. I’d probably put Rock with Brock, and have Rock be the one that beats Brock before he takes off – much like Brock beat Rock before Rock took off for an extended period back in the day. I’d have Punk, Bryan, Undertaker and Cena put on two matches between those 4 guys. That would be the way I’d do the 3 big fights.

If they do Cena / Rock again, then I’d have to say I agree, they’d probably give Cena his win. Fuck them if they only do it for THAT reason, though – they got Brock for a WrestleMania, Rock is still around, and Bryan and Punk are huge stars now – they should take advantage of all of that and diversify the main event while they have the chance, especially since Brock and Rock aren’t going to be around forever. I don’t see why they’d waste that valuable time to do something they’ve already done.

 

Limodriver: The mismanaged Punk’s title run because his entire character was based on changing the way WWE presented its product, and there hasn’t been a single bit of an indication that the WWE management team has any interest in doing that. The section of the fan base to which he appeals has been rejecting John Cena and everything he stands for for years, and they have been shown repeatedly that the WWE doesn’t care in the slightest about giving them what they want. They’re hardcore fans, they’re going to watch anyway. They are never going to get a Cena heel turn. And they are going to keep watching anyway because Vince knows how to give them just enough hope to keep them around while he entertains the rest of the WWE Universe with sock puppets and skits about hugs and the usual assortment of superheavyweights who can barely do ten wrestling moves between them all.

Blair: Another very good point. It goes back to a theory that I heard, that I’ve mentioned numerous times in these columns – that everyone who will potentially tune out of WWE has already done so over the past decade. It’s not my theory, but I think it holds a lot of weight. The only thing it doesn’t address is people tuning out as they get older – but that will take care of itself as more kids will have been roped in by that point anyway.

And let’s remember – this whole “Punk will change everything” business? That was INVENTED by fans. Fans who WANTED that to be the case because they were THAT sick of John Cena’s overplayed top-of-the-card schtick, as Limodriver mentioned – or, if not that, at least sick of that style of “safe” WWE programming. Neither WWE nor Punk gave any indication that things would be “changing”. WWE didn’t start that. Punk sure as hell didn’t start it. All WWE was doing was a storyline that was a bit riskier and edgier than normal, not starting some master plan to revamp the entire show. After Punk did his month of promos and “walked out” with the belt, and then came back, people came up with the “change” thing on their own. So surprised were they by the quality of Punk’s work whether they were fans of his beforehand or not, and so surprised that WWE would run that type of angle in this day and age, that it completely overrode their sense of pattern recognition.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I thought Summer Of Punk was very cool and quite well done. But I never thought it was any indication that the WWE was going to “change”. I went back to a couple of my articles from around the time that Summer Of Punk happened, and I found this from yours truly:

“Will MITB change anything in terms of how boring WWE has become? I’ve yet to see any evidence of that.”
– July 28, 2011

 “Everyone is blowing their load prematurely on something that could turn out to be nothing. That’s all I’m saying. Could WWE get better? Of course it could. Is the Punk stuff solid? Absolutely. Is it a step in the right direction? For sure. Hell, they even gave Bryan a MITB, so who knows. But, is all of this, which has lasted all of a month, any reason to think that the next WWE golden age is upon us? For God’s sake, no.”
– August 4, 2011 

There was a reader named Owangotang who said that I clearly wasn’t watching very closely, and cited stuff like Punk showing up at Comic-Con a concrete examples of WWE changing. Again, all WWE was doing was trying a single storyline that was a bit outside the box, but they saw this reaction from people like Owangotang and smartly ran with it. Why wouldn’t they? It was a great opportunity. They partially catered to that audience, like Limodriver said, giving them the taste of the possibility that it could ACTUALLY be the case without having to ACTUALLY change anything. And now, one year later, people are realizing that it was NEVER going to be the case, so what did they do? They turned Punk heel, with part of the premise being that he PROMISED change (which he only did after fans came up with it all on their own) but it ended up that he was only out for himself.

I’m not saying that it’s a great idea and that everyone is going to swallow it – they aren’t. But, a lot of people will.

 

Cynical Bastard: I understand your point of view where when Punk and Bryan are supposed to be heels, yet face Sheamus can’t get cheered over them could be considered a failure. And a decade or so ago I would have agreed.

However, that was back when the promotions LISTENED to the crowd. If they cheered a heel, they’d turn them face. If they booed a face, they’d turn them heel. WWE creative, for whatever reason, has decided to try and force heel turns on two of the most popular performers in the company, and the fans are largely rebelling against it. I’d say the blame falls more on the writers than anything else. If you want to blame the talent, then we’d also have to blame Punk and Bryan for failing to get booed even though they’re supposed to be heels, and I just can’t subscribe to that logic.

Whoever books WWE has long forgotten that the fans decide whether a wrestler is to be cheered or not. The Rock and SCSA are excellent examples of this. The closest thing I can compare this to would be if they continued to insist on forcing goody goody Rocky Maivia instead of turning him into the cocky, heelish Rock when the fans booed him.

Blair: Doing what the crowd wants every time is a slippery slope. You can’t just change anyone as soon as they start getting cheered or booed – as it’s never guaranteed to work the same all across the world, and plus, crowds are fickle and to do EVERYTHING they want would mean a lot of changes a lot of the time. In the case of Punk and Bryan however, we’re definitely well past that. You’re definitely not wrong though – I don’t know about the writers specifically, but the blame would obviously fall on whoever it is that’s making the decision to make the crowd try to hate Bryan (until recently, anyway) and Punk. It doesn’t make any sense at all. The crowd loves both guys, especially when they’re really allowed to turn it up and be as good as they can be. Why go against the grain? It’s a shitty reason, but there is a reason, and I’ll get into my guess as to why they did it later.

One of my favorite things about this comment of Cynical Bastard’s was that it was about how silly it is to try to force crowds to hate Punk and Bryan, and NOT about trying to turn Cena heel. But Punk and Bryan? When they can get cheered for doing all the heel things they’ve done, for as long as they’ve been doing it, I think it’s safe to say you probably aren’t going to change that.

But my ABSOLUTE favorite thing about his comment was that someone FINALLY said that they can’t get on board with blaming Punk and Bryan for trying to get booed. So can we finally bust this retarded myth right now, please? It’s not Punk’s fault he can’t get booed. Again – he aligned with Heyman, walked out on matches, cheated to win on multiple occasions, beat up a retired stroke victim, beat up a retired commentator, and is stalling for minutes at a time purely to annoy the crowd. It’s also not Bryan’s fault that he can’t get booed. Bryan cheated to win more times than I can count, berated the crowd, and verbally abused his girlfriend. And let’s not forget – they’re not going out there and making this stuff up themselves – WWE are the ones GIVING them the schtick to go out and play. Does Bryan have to ACTUALLY punch his fucking girlfriend in the face in the ring? Does Punk have to ACTUALLY say he slipped something into Lawler’s drink the night he went down at ringside? I’m not even entirely sure that would get the job done.

So inspired was I by this comment, that it even sparked the fourth New Rule of the week…

 

Zork: Speaking of Punk/Cena/Rock, I also find it interesting how negatively people have taken Punk’s heel turn for the most part. I’ve yet to really see anyone on this website not complain about it…including myself.

I’ll ask you a direct question this time. What IS your take on it?

Blair: That’s a tough question to answer – as opposed to what?

Swayze said it last week – before, the show was about Cena doing what he did, and Punk doing what he did. The crowd was into both guys. Cena may have been booked on top of Punk, which didn’t do Punk any favours and didn’t help Cena anyway, but at least I could watch the Punk stuff without having to watch Cena. I can’t do that anymore now. If I want to watch Punk, then it’s kind of a lock that I’m going to have to watch Cena a lot of that time too.

Is it better than when Cena was main-eventing these shows with The Miz, Shaemus, Wade Barrett or R-Truth? Yeah, obviously. That can’t really be debated. Also on the plus side, we all knew the only way that CM Punk was going to get on top of this show was working with John Cena. Nothing wrong with that – but add to that the fact that they have Punk being the generic heel, and that makes it all the more boring to me.

I said it above though – that I think they missed out on something by not having Cena and Punk go at it without having to turn anyone into a heel. The fact that they did so did not surprise me in the least, and I do see why they did it, and I get more into it in my next response.

 

1234Guest: I think the poster for Night of Champions displays Cena, so I don’t know what wwe is thinking. I just pray to all that is holy that Punk doesn’t drop the belt to Cena before the Royal Rumble. What a waste of a fantastic, historic title reign.

Blair: First of all, you’re jumping to conclusions. The title reign isn’t over yet. Second, and most importantly… what’s WWE thinking?

What are you thinking?

WWE is thinking that Cena is their guy. Like always. Period. He’s the Make-A-Wish guy. He’s the Support-The-Troops guy. He’s the Anti-Bullying guy. He’s the Fight-Breast-Cancer guy. He’s… well, he’s the WWE GUY.

That’s all you need to know. That’s all you ever needed to know.

And this isn’t a revelation of any kind. This isn’t news. At all. The last SEVEN YEARS have been like this. NO ONE has been booked over Cena until The Rock beat him just this year. At this point, if you’re surprised, then you’re just not paying attention anymore.

CM Punk made enough noise last year to the point that WWE couldn’t ignore the fans and what they wanted. He had a couple good months, sold a lot of t-shirts, and lots of people assumed that he would be the star of the show because of it. But even if you did think that, the next 10 months should have been more than enough to bring you back to reality. When Punk chased and took the title, Cena was STILL booked over him on the card pretty much that entire time.

 

Cena is their safe choice – WWE’s audience has shrunk dramatically over the past dozen years, but for whatever reason, they’re more than satisfied with the numbers they’ve had during Cena’s 7 years at the top. I don’t know this for a fact, but I imagine that a lot of that has to do with merchandising dollars and the fact that he’s not likely to often get hurt wrestling the way he does. Also essentially important is that WWE doesn’t need to take ANY risks with Cena as their star, which is definitely an essential thing in a publicly traded company.

The point is, a guy like Punk doesn’t exactly inspire confidence when they’ve got a safe choice like Cena – he doesn’t question WWE’s decisions and will say and do literally whatever they tell him. And I imagine that’s fairly important to WWE, probably because they’d rather have the top star of – again, their publicly traded company – be someone who will toe that line. Cena’s been battle-tested for years at the top, and they know what they’re getting with him.

In addition, Punk has stated recently and publicly before that he probably won’t be a full-time wrestler as long as most people are. So if he goes – sure, it will be a loss to the company. But they’ll still have Cena and they’ll still have the same safe numbers they had before this all happened.

 

Or, to put it another way, here’s a comment on last week’s article from the ever-wise Jonah Kue…

Jonah Kue: Wins and losses by themselves don’t matter. It’s how those wins and losses are received. Wrestling doesn’t center around statistics, but storylines. Fake sports (sorry, sports entertainment) can’t rely on fake statistics unless they directly affect the storyline.

So, yes, “straight up” and “shenanigans” matter. More so than actual wins and losses. Sorry, Swayze.

In that same regard, titles are rendered meaningless without a relevant storyline and emphasis on those storylines. So, yes, you can thank the John Cena show for the loss of significance in the title picture. And the Rock aspiring to be the Champ would do wonders for gold, if history didn’t tell us that, once it was inevitable removed from his waist, he would still main event any show he’d appear on.

It’s time to face facts that WWE is marketing to two different demographics, one being us regular fans (those who watch for good matches, good storylines, good promos, etc), and the other being the mainstream public who enjoy drinking from the Kool-Aid (Cena good, everyone else bad). I mean no negative connotation to either one (as one can call the latter mindless sheep who “never give up” and the former as a “obsessive and overly critical about everything”).

The main point I’m trying to make from this is, as far as the company is concerned, the mainstream public will always take precedence over the regular fans. That’s why Cena’s matches will always go before Punk’s. And, from a business standpoint, they should. Regular fans will always be there. It’s the eye of the mainstream that is finicky and takes more effort to catch.

Sad thing is, most wrestling fans just can’t come to terms with this. Once one does, it’s easier to enjoy the product for what it is and come away with opinions that are a bit more rational and of a broader scope.

Blair: I took out a very nice compliment from Kue at the end of that, as it felt oddly self-serving to throw it in my own column. Regardless, thanks for that Kue.

And, more importantly, I couldn’t agree more, nor have possibly said it that well.

 

Look, don’t get me wrong. I’ve stated before that I can’t watch John Cena. Promos, matches – unless they’re against a guy like Punk or someone who might be able to pull out something passable out of him – nothing. At all. The promos especially make me uncomfortable.

And even more than that, I’d absolutely love it if CM Punk were the biggest star in the WWE. I’ve been watching the guy since 2002 and I’ve always thought he was brilliant.

I’m just realistic – and I’m using history as my guide. Cena is the guy, and they’re happy with that – and unless something drastically changes, or their numbers take a dive below a level they’re comfortable with, that’s not going to change.

Personally, I’m pretty happy with how CM Punk has done in WWE. I’m not surprised at how far he got before Summer Of Punk, but I am pleasantly surprised at how big he blew up after that. He’s arguably been the first or second most over regularly-performing guy in the company since that happened. As I said, I always thought he was great, but that WWE audience is a completely different animal these days, plus navigating that backstage minefield has got to be tricky.

So really, if you look at it, Punk has done better than 99% of people do in WWE. The fact that he hasn’t overtaken Cena seems to frustrate some people, but I guess I just look what he has been able to accomplish as opposed to the one thing he hasn’t accomplished, which is basically an impossible glass ceiling set by WWE anyway. I especially prefer to look at it that way since his success has led to more TV time for him, which is one of the few things that makes parts of WWE watchable for for me. And for Punk, I’m glad he’s made a lot more money and gotten a lot more exposure, which he wouldn’t have had otherwise. That will help him with whatever else he may decide to do with his life.

Also, I think it’s kinda cool that he wants to get out sooner than most, because he’s said he has other things that he’d like to do. In addition, after you hit a certain point, you can go out and come back on your own terms, which gives you a chance to do those other things. Plus, I imagine you’d make more money, and work less. Like Jericho.

Good luck to him.

 

As always, thanks again for all your contributions. Let’s get to…

From The Vault

June 23, 2011
Ernie Lupica: To answer your question about why the crowd is silent for Crimson: Give it time. Allow Crimson to showcase more of his wrestling arsenal, give him better, more intense, Goldberg-esque music and then the crowd will slowly but surely fall for the trap, if you will. Like you said, Crimson did have a few people cheering for him in his match against Samoa Joe. All it takes is a few to start making a difference. The perfect example of this is Sheamus. WWE put Sheamus all over WWE universe and push this guy in the faces of WWE fans until they accepted the fact that this guy will be a main eventer. It’s like the WWE said to the fans, you are going to watch him and you are going to pay to see him on the main event. The result? Sheamus is becoming a favorite WWE Superstar and he is turning into a legitamate main eventer. Give it time. Goldberg was not a hit in his first 5 months in WCW. It took time for him to become a star. Give Crimson at least 5 months. Gunner is new fresh face guy. Plus, the guy is a good talker and looks intense.

So… Ernie said give it 5 months. And this was a 15 months ago. What do we think? Why did Crimson and Gunner not hit it huge? Did they suck hard to begin with, like I said, or was Ernie right and was there another reason? What about my man Shaemus – he’s certainly not in the main event of WWE shows like Ernie and some others had said, but where I was wrong was that I figured WWE would have given up on him a long time ago. Thoughts? Put them below.

 

It’s time for…

New Rules

New Rule #1: Vickie Guererro’s biceps shouldn’t be bigger than the biceps of the wrestlers she manages.

New Rule #2: If WWE does indeed bring Ric Flair back on TV, then, for the last time, he’s just not allowed to be topless anymore. His body reminds us of death, which isn’t very PG.

New Rule #3: From now on, all contenders for either the Intercontinental or the United States Title must explain their motivation for wanting these championships. In the last year, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, Christian, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, The Miz and Ezekiel Jackson have all held one of these titles (thanks Wikipedia), and look where all of them are now. That list alone should be enough to turn anyone off the entire concept.

New Rule #4: Anyone who was behind the “unstoppable”-like pushes of Mark Henry and Shaemus but who ISN’T behind the Ryback push needs to explain the logic behind that. I mean, really: start by sucking and losing all the time, disappear for a while, then come back and suck slightly less (if at all), start beating everyone and get pushed to the top of the show way too soon. That’s the formula, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of the formula and I’m not a fan of Ryback. But him being pushed past gag reflexes is no worse than when Shaemus was, and at least Ryback, unlike Shaemus,  doesn’t sound like a kid practicing promos into his dad’s hairbrush in front of the mirror in his underwear. And as for the “monster” ringwork, it’s no worse than Mark Henry’s was, and at least Ryback doesn’t break into a sweat anytime he has to climb the ring steps.

New Rule #5: If people are going to blame guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan for their inability to get booed by more of the crowd, then those people need to explain where the blame is for CENA in Punk’s ability to get booed by more of that crowd? Sure, a good heel can help a good babyface get a lot of crowd support, but if you’re going to use that logic, then how is the reverse not also true? A good babyface shouldn’t ALSO be able to get a good heel booed? How the fuck does that work? Explain to me the logic that Punk and Bryan are to blame for not getting booed, yet guys like Shaemus and Cena don’t take ANY share of that blame… and ALSO none of the blame for the fact that THEY THEMSELVES ARE getting booed by a good portion of that same crowd?!

You can’t have it both ways. Of course creative or management or whatever you call the authority figure in question has their share of the blame. But if a heel isn’t getting booed, if a babyface isn’t getting cheered, or both, and for whatever reason you believe the wrestlers are to blame, then guess what? That babyface is at LEAST 50% responsible. Blaming one and not the other for the result we’re seeing is like not dealing with the meth addict banging on the door so you can check for unicorns in your closet.

Sure, you might feel better about the closet, but now you’ve got Jeff Hardy in your kitchen.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for this week. Again, any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at bdouglas@insidepulse.com. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @BlairADouglas if you’re into such things.

This has been “Interinactivity”. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

I’ll be in my trailer.

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