The People’s Column: The Error of “Breaking Point”
by Will Pruett on September 3, 2009

In two weeks the WWE will present their latest Pay Per View spectacular; Breaking Point.  This is another in a recent line up of concept Pay Per Views.  The concept for this show is that all of the main event matches will be some sort of  submission-style bout.

This idea seems very interesting.  Jim Ross said on Smackdown this past week that this Pay Per View is a new and innovative concept.  It is being promoted as the first event of its type and should be a reasonably well executed card, with a few Summerslam rematches.

The error in the “Breaking Point” experiment becomes evident when one looks what are currently the only submission matches signed and the top three matches on the card.  They are: Undertaker vs CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship and D-Generation X vs The Legacy.

All three of these matches are submission-based matches.  The big question and probable error is that the WWE has conditioned it’s audience to believe that the good guys do not quit.  This means that The Undertaker, John Cena and DX have been represented as people who do not tap out no matter how bad the pain.

As an example, take The Undertaker.  JR himself has said that he has never seen him quit in his career.  Undertaker has yet to tap out in a WWE ring and after 20 years they will not have him start in a one-off match at an off-brand Pay Per View.  So what is to be done? Do they instantly invalidate any and all credibility that CM Punk built over the past three months in his feud with Jeff Hardy in order to uphold Undertaker’s un-submissive streak?

For a further example, there is John Cena.  He said it best on Raw this week when he said “I will not quit!”  In fact he said it about ten times during his promo.  Sadly he is in the only match where a competitor has to say the words “I quit” to win.  While Randy Orton will not necessarily be hurt in taking the loss, it does seem like a for-gone conclusion that John Cena cannot quit.

D-Generation X is also in a tough spot.  They are up against a tag team that rarely uses submission moves aside from a rear-chinlock and a headlock.  They must fight them in a submissions count anywhere match.  The Legacy may actually be able to walk into the match as crowd favorites though, as in Montreal DX is still considered to be the great satan for their part in the Montreal Screwjob some 12 years ago.  This being said, my money in on HBK winning the match with the Sharpshooter.

Now there is one ending that may be used in one of the two world championship matches.  That is the good-guy passing out, in the way Steve Austin did at Wrestlemania 13.  This ending preserves the integrity of the man who will not quit (either Undertaker or John Cena) while at the same time costing them the match.  This ending should not be used in both situations, as the repetitiveness would be boring, but it could (and should) be used in the Smackdown main event.

If CM Punk cheats (perhaps with a steal chair) to knock The Undertaker out and then proceeds to put a submission move on him, both men would save face and the program would continue as more than a one-off.

This is merely a theory.  It is an idea in the endless abyss of wrestling ideas.  Please leave any ideas you may have about the all-submission style Pay Per View in the comments section below and I’ll see you next week.

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Will Pruett

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  • Walter Kovacs

    A couple of notes:

    (a) Mankind who at the time was notorious for his pain threshold set him self up for the loss in the I Quit match by “protesting too much” and having it come back to haunt him. While that particular situation is unlikely to be repeated … often claims of “will not quit” can backfire or be setting up for a fall.

    (b) In the case of Legacy, while they haven’t been using it … this event would be the perfect time for Teddy to bust out the Million Dollar Dream. He has the Dream Street variation in his repitoire already, so using his father’s finisher in the context of this match isn’t far fetched.

    (c) Punk losing to Undertaker doesn’t necessarily kill his momentum if done right. While it doesn’t help the title to jump around too much, getting close to getting the Undertaker to submit would be a huge feather in his cap. Odds are good though that Punk will win through some underhanded means, as it will enable a rematch at the next months Pay Per View … Hell in the Cell.

    At the very least, Punk, the Undertaker and John Cena all have submissions that have been finishers for them (although Punk’s was during his debut run, but he can pull the Anaconda Vise out of the mothballs). Dibiase has the Dream, DX has used Flair’s Figure Four on a number of occaisions, not to mention the Crossface for some reason, Shawn has been known to use the Sharpshooter, while Hunter has used both the Indian Deathlock and the Sleeper as signature moves in the past as well. So, most of the participants have some sort of established submission maneuver in their moveset … lucky for Orton, an “I Quit” match doesn’t necessarily require a submission maneuver. And if the ECW Title match is included, Regal has already reestablished the Regal Stretch, while Christian will need to come up with one quickly [unless he just beats Regal with his own move …]

  • MLKennedy

    Taker has tapped out to Angle in the past. (At least once, whilst pinning our Olympic HGHero).

  • Aaron Glazer

    Want Orton to be an over, monster heel? Steal the Magnum vs. Tully finish and let him jam jagged wood into Cena’s eye to take him out. This way Cena submits, but its damn neccessary.

  • Bobby

    Not 20 years ago, The undertaker had taped out to ankle lock by kurt angle…..
    But during that time taker was in his american bad ass gimmick….
    The dead man undertaker never taps out

  • Bobby

    Not 20 years ago, The undertaker had taped out to ankle lock by kurt angle…..
    But during that time taker was in his american bad ass gimmick….
    The dead man undertaker never taps out
    So punk has no chance…

  • Ryan Ro

    Christian has utilized the Texas (Toronto?) Cloverleaf semi-regularly. It’s in his repertoire despite not being a regular move in his matches. Or perhaps he can steal Lance’s rolling single-leg crab. =)

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