The Stomping Ground: Alternate Realities and The MitB Briefcase (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler)

Every Monday night I go to my cousin’s house to watch some football and, during the commercial breaks and halftime, we often switch to Monday Night Raw. She and her husband were fans back in the day (up to the end of the Attitude Era) and it’s fun for me to regale them about the inner workings of a match while we watch it on the screen. In any case, during one commercial break in particular, we flipped to USA and saw Vince McMahon strut his way down to the ring. As he shoved his hand in Vickie’s back and proceeded to walk her through the announced matches for TLC, I couldn’t help but bemoan out loud the ever-increasing possibility that Cena and Ziggler’s match would be for the Money in the Bank briefcase. True to form, the match was made and my cousin remarked, “Is this taped? How did you know that?!”

My response was to stare morosely at the screen and offhandedly comment, “This shit’s so damn predictable these days.”

Immediately thereafter I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to write about this week. There are many paths the WWE can take with this situation, so here’s my two cents on the possible outcomes of the Ladder match.

1. John Cena wins cleanly and moves on to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown at a later point in time.
With this scenario (the most likely to occur), Cena will no longer be in contention for the WWE Championship and therefore will keep the Raw title scene fresh while spending some more quality time on Smackdown. The one issue I have with this is that CENA WILL BE ON SMACKDOWN AND I HAVE THE UNENVIABLE TASK OF RECAPPING SMACKDOWN. Ahem. In addition, the WWE could use this as a stepping stone for a face-versus-face confrontation between Sheamus and Cena at Wrestlemania XXIX. It won’t have the same reaction as, say, Cena vs Rock, but it’ll be different seeing as how Sheamus is in more of a main event role since he last fought John Boy.

2. John Cena wins and challenges for the World Heavyweight Championship almost immediately via a cheap cash-in.
Of the scenarios involving a Cena victory, this could be the most interesting. Seeing as how Cena’s previous attempt via announcing his cash-in ahead of time backfired on him, he could go the easy route and screw over Big Show at TLC similarly to how Show cost him his title match at Raw 1,000.

3. John Cena wins and decides to ignore the fact that the briefcase is blue, challenging for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble to make it a Triple Threat.
I’ve heard this idea tossed around a bit the last couple of days, but Cena’s latest comments about the TLC match indicate his acknowledgment that the contract is for the Blue Brand. Of course, that wouldn’t stop the WWE from changing the rules for the sake of getting Cena involved with The Rock again. And if not at the Rumble, he could cash-in at ‘Mania against Punk and Rock in a Triple Threat after we get the teased one-on-one between Punk at Rock in January.

4. Dolph Ziggler gets the win via shenanigans.
While this result would go a long way in cementing Ziggler’s place in the WWE pantheon, it’s not the most desirable one. Heels who get clean wins are taken more seriously as threats and legitimate contenders than those who cheat to win, and a tainted victory does nothing for Dolph at this point. For a further example of this, see the WWE’s handling of CM Punk during his feud with Ryback.

5. Dolph Ziggler wins legitimately in a fantastic, grueling match.
This is the most desirable outcome for many of us. Look, if the WWE intends on making Ziggler a big star, he has GOT to start getting more clean victories. He beat Randy Orton at Survivor Series in just such a way, but has since gone on to job to Cena two straight matches in a row. There’s nothing wrong with Cena losing in this fashion, because he won’t have to tap out or get pinned to lose. Besides, when the guy is handed a clean loss he’s pretty damn humble about it and gives credit where credit is due.

So those are the possible realities that I envision coming out of the TLC PPV. Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments below.

Anybody Interested in Guest Recapping?

As most of you are aware, Kelly Floyd is taking an extended break from Pulse to rest her laurels. I don’t think I have to tell anyone here that I’ve had a blast with our back-and-forth diatribes as we recapped Smackdown week after week. To that end, I’m putting out an APB for anyone interested in joining me for a spell as a recapper for Smackdown on the weekends. The hours are flexible, but there are a couple of necessities that must be addressed:

1. A gmail account for G-Chat. This is easier for me, as I can cut and paste our conversation to the dashboard site with minimum editing needed.
2. A DVR so that we can pause when necessary and sync up the program after commercial breaks.
3. A great sense of humor and dry wit. Listless, wooden personalities need not apply.

The great thing is, you don’t have to stick around every weekend. I could have a “revolving door” policy if that works as well. Responses by Friday would be greatly appreciated; you can post in the comments section or e-mail me directly at

I can’t wait to hear from you guys!

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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