This was definitely a newsworthy week in the WWE. It seems like the path is set for SummerSlam with two main event matches becoming official, or close to it. For my money, this might be the most interesting SummerSlam the WWE has had in quite some time. I said in a post about a month ago that this has the possibility of being one of the best summers the WWE has seen in years. Instead of one big story being the focus, there are a handful of good-to-great stories going on that will keep people interested, and so far the WWE has done a good job with that.
With that being said, here are five thoughts I took away from this week’s events.
1. The More I Think About It, The More I’m OK With Randy Orton Winning Money in the Bank
-There was a decent amount of uproar after Orton won the WWE Title MITB contract at the PPV. There are not a lot of fans of Randy Orton out there, at least on the Internet. Orton hasn’t been the most interesting character in the WWE in the last few years. He’s somebody who works better as a heel. And I really think winning this MITB briefcase will help push forward a Randy Orton heel turn. And Daniel Bryan is the perfect guy for him to go against. When Orton turned heel in the past, the problem the WWE always faced was that the fans ended up wanting to cheer him. But they won’t have to worry about that if Orton goes up against Daniel Bryan. Those two have already put on a couple of good matches in the past month.
The smart money is on Bryan winning the WWE Title at SummerSlam, then Orton cashing in and turning heel in the process. We’ve seen the WWE steer away from things that have leaked out in the past, but I don’t think Orton will hold on to the briefcase long term. I think the WWE knows they can’t do another Orton/Cena singles program again, so having Daniel Bryan involved in the WWE Title picture is best for the long term. And I actually don’t have a problem with Orton being in the WWE Title program because it has been so long since he’s been in one. Orton adds another layer to the story, and a program with Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title, even with John Cena involved, should not be a bad one.
2. Wade Barrett Will Never Be A Big Time Player In The WWE
-I really wish I didn’t have to type this. I have always been a big supporter of Wade Barrett. He won the first season of NXT, and was immediately thrust into a main event role when he became the leader of the Nexus. Barrett did a great job as the leader of the group. For someone who had never been a main eventer on such a big stage, Barrett definitely held his own. He was good on the mic and in the ring. You knew that Nexus would disband at some point, and most assumed Barrett would be a main eventer at some point down the line.
But that never happened. I thought Barrett would win MITB in 2011, and he didn’t. Then Barrett was rumored to be in line for a push in early 2012, but then he injured his elbow and was on the shelf for a few months. Barrett has been floundering in the mid-card for months, and when he dropped the IC Title, I thought it meant that the WWE had something planned for Barrett, specifically a MITB win. But that didn’t happen. Barrett didn’t do anything memorable during the MITB Match. And that’s a bad sign for someone like him. While I hope I am wrong in writing this, I just don’t think Barrett will ever be a big time player in the WWE. His time has come and gone. There are a handful of other talents that have already passed Barrett in the process.
3. The WWE Has No Idea What To Do With Dolph Ziggler
-So does the WWE want Dolph Ziggler to be World Champion, or not? We all knew a break-up with A.J. was on the horizon, and that a match with Big E Langston was likely, but most thought it would be for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. Instead, all signs point to Dolph Ziggler taking a break from his chase for the World Title and instead focusing on getting revenge against Big E and A.J.
But the WWE is taking a risk in taking Dolph away from the World Title picture this early. Most expected a lengthy Title reign for Dolph, but instead it was a blip on the radar. Now Dolph’s concussion played a part in that, but the fact that he lost it back to the heatless Alberto del Rio was surprising. Dolph seems to have finally gotten over as a babyface, and now they have to make sure fans don’t lose interest in him. Dolph’s promo work hasn’t been good as a face. I maintain that Dolph should continue to get over with his work in the ring. A.J. should be a good foil for Ziggler, but the fact that this feud wasn’t made a World Title one may worry some fans that the WWE doesn’t have too much faith in Ziggler as a main eventer.
4. Sheamus Needs A Heel Turn As Much As Randy Orton
-When the WWE decided to turn Sheamus face, you couldn’t have asked for a better turn. When Mark Henry was going on his destructive run in 2011, Sheamus decided to stand up to him. He didn’t come out and crack stupid and lame jokes. All Sheamus did was come out, look Henry in the eyes, and say “I’ll fight him.”
And it was almost all down hill from there. The problem with the WWE today is they feel the need to book babyfaces as these wise-cracking guys that make really bad jokes. I understand that this is the PG Era, but you can’t book every babyface that way. It is the reason why most male fans cheer the heels. They are different and unique in their own ways. They aren’t all the same like most babyfaces in the WWE.
If you look at the face side of things in the WWE, Sheamus has fallen to no higher than fourth in the pecking order. John Cena, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have all passed him. You could make an argument that Dolph Ziggler has passed him too. Sheamus has seen his crowd reactions taper off in recent months. A switch to the heel side of things would add some fresh one-on-one match-ups. Who’s the #1 heel nowadays anyway? Ryback? The Shield? Alberto del Rio? Things aren’t too strong on that side, and adding not only Sheamus but also Randy Orton to the heel side would freshen up the WWE.
5. If You Aren’t Excited For SummerSlam, You Might As Well Stop Watching Wrestling
-I understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But we often complain about how the WWE likes to stick to the norm and not take a risk with new things. When it comes to SummerSlam this year, the WWE is doing the complete opposite. They’re giving a huge fan favorite, perhaps the hottest act in the WWE, Daniel Bryan, a match against John Cena. The WWE doesn’t like to push stars that they didn’t intend on pushing, but the WWE Universe has spoken and the WWE listened.
Brock Lesnar has fought exactly two people since his return: John Cena and Triple H, two guys that have been main stays in the WWE. Now they are using CM Punk to fight Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. And not only that, the feud should get even better with Paul Heyman and CM Punk cutting promos against each other. If this past Monday was any indication then we are in for a great ride.
When you look at what the SummerSlam card might be, there are a lot of new match-ups out there to think about. It looks like we will get Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow in a high profile match. Alberto del Rio might face someone new for the World Title, maybe Rob Van Dam. For the heck of it, lets say Sheamus fights Ryback. Another new match-up. Add in the Wyatts and Ziggler/Big E, and we have a handful of new matches for the second biggest show of the year. It’s a step in the right direction for the WWE, and it is why there is potential for this summer to be one of the best ever for the company.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka
Tags: alberto del rio, big e langston, Brock Lesnar, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, john cena, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Rob Van Dam, sheamus, Summerslam, The Wyatt Family, Wade Barrett, WWE